Multiple-Choice Test Strategies

  • Know that they are the type most often given by teachers.
  • Know that multiple-choice test are designed to test how well you recognize related information.
  • Understand the directions.
  • Read all the directions twice
  • Is there one (or more than one) correct answer per questions?
  • Work quickly.
  • “Flag” questions about which you are unsure, and continue.
  • Answer all the questions (never leave a blank unless you are not penalized for unanswered questions).


STEP1: Cover all answers with your hands to better focus on the stem
(the “question” above the choices).

STEP2: Study the stem and circle any qualifiers or key words

STEP 3: Recall the answer before reading the choices.

STEP 4: Uncover the answers, then choose the answer that best

matches yours.

STEP 5: Separate the questions or answer into smaller parts if you

find them complicated or confusing.

STEP 6: Read all of the choices before making a decision.

STEP 7: Eliminate obviously wrong answers.

  • Look for “clue” words or numbers.
  • Watch for grammatical clues:
  • Be on the lookout for familiar phrases from lectures or the text.
  • Immediately cross off “NONE OF THE ABOVE’ or “ALL OF THE ABOVE’ answer choices when you read through the answer and find one that makes either of these two incorrect.

STEP 8: When you get stuck, try reading the stem with each possible
answer (separately).

STEP 9: If time permits, recheck your answers.
*Look for flagged questions first.
*Before changing any answers, be sure you have a very good
reason to do so – your first response is usually correct.

Copyright 2004 by
Incentive Publications, Inc. Nashville, TN