This is a guest post by Bianca from Study-Up, a blog about studying (in Dutch!). Bianca is an educator who teaches high school students.

Everybody has had that moment were they have to make a multiple choice test and all you can do was guess. The beauty of a multiple choice test is that guessing is actually a pretty good way to get a good result (of course learning works better but sometimes you just have got better things to do). These tests are made by humans after allĀ and we all know that humans are easy to predict. If you follow a few simple rules you should be able to make a multiple choice test succesfull without studying!

  1. Read the questions and instructions before you start: This is really a important part of making any type of test. You will never forget this step once you’ve made a big mistake because you didn’t do it. A good example that I often use is the following: You have to make a history test (not multiple choice) and you’ve got 3 hours to make it. You studied the material really good so you quickly begin to write. After 2 hours (and a lot of writing) you are done and you feel as if you knew everything. When you quikly read the instructions just to make sure you didn’t miss anything you find out that every question had to be answered on a different piece of paper. This sucks, if you’ve only read the instructions first!
  2. First make the questions you already know: Even if you haven’t learned there is a chance that you already knew a few questions. You should always begin with these, because it would be a shame if you don’t have time for them anymore at the end.

And now the rules you have to follow for all the other questions you think you don’t know. Unless you get -1 point for every wrong answer you should answer all of them. Never forget that you know more than you know!

  1. Cross out the wrong answers: Usually there is 1 answer that is so obviously wrong you shouldn’t even bother to think it over. Don’t doubt yourself just cross it away immediately.
  2. When there are opposite answers; one of them is true: Often if there are 2 answers that are competly opposite one of them will be true. So now you’ve got a 50-50 chance of picking the right one.
  3. The longer answer is good: It takes more words to describe the good answer than it does to describe the wrong answer (remember: this is one of the last rules you have to use; so only if no other rule can be used)
  4. Mark answers that contain ” none of the above” or “all of the above”: there are 2 reasons why this answers could be there: 1; They couldn’t think of any more wrong answers, or 2; its the right answer. Mostly you can see that some answers could be right so of course you then pick “all of the above”. If you really haven’t got a clue I suggest you pick “all of the above” or “none of the above”. Running out of wrong answers seems quite unlikly.
  5. Save the question for later: If you have absolutely know idea what the question is even about, just leave it for later. Sometimes they give away the answer in questions yet to come. Of course this is a very dumb mistake so in very important tests your chance of reading the right answer in a next question is little. But just remember that these tests are made by humans, and humans make mistakes.
  6. Pick anwers that sound as if your teacher said them: If your teacher uses the word “naturally” a lot and this word is in one of the answers then chances are big that this is the right answer. (of course you do need a test that your teacher made himself)

If you have learned for your test and you think you know the right answers, BUT according to these rules you should pick a different answer; then don’t. These rules are and will be just a way to gamble better. It’s better to trust yourself than these rules!

This was a guest post by Bianca from Study-up, do you want to do a guest post here? Contact me!

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