Test Taking Techniques
Objective and Subjective Tests:
Multiple-Choice Questions: Options consist of one correct answer and several designed to mislead.
True/False Questions: Be careful with multiple negatives. Look at all parts of the question-the entire question must be true for the answer to be true. Qualifiers usually point to true answers, Absolutes usually point to false answers.
Matching Lists: Determine if all pieces are used once and only once. Review both lists first. Work from the shortest list. Match those you are sure of and then use the process of elimination for the rest.
Short-Answer Questions: Most want specific details. Remember key words. Word the answer precisely. Look for agreement clues.
Essay Exams: Follow instructions carefully. Brainstorm and jot down points so that you'll remember them once you start writing. Plan a systematic answer (make an outline). Start with a strong statement and use good transitions. Be complete and concise. Use instructor's key words and phrases. Write neatly.
Math or Science Questions: Determine what information the question gives you and what it asks you to figure out. Draw a picture, if applicable. Pay attention to units. If you can't remember the actual value of a constant, make one up for you will probably get points for understanding the questions even though the answer is wrong.
Mastering Essay Tests
Read test directions carefully, analyze the questions, and plan your answer. Brainstorm what to include then put it into logical order following these guidelines.
Types of Essay Questions and What They are Asking for:
Discuss: write as much as you can
Describe: write so the subject can be visualized
Explain: give reasons and as much info as you can
Compare: make a numbered list
Contrast: discuss differences
Enumerate: make a numbered list
List: make a numbered list
Summarize: briefly state the info
Outline: make a numbered/lettered layout of main ideas and sub-points
Define: give meaning of
Identify: to establish the set of traits by which a thing is recognized or known
Relate: discuss connections between/or among items
Trace: discuss in logical or chronological sequence
Diagram: draw a picture and label its parts
Illustrate: draw a picture and label its parts or give a long example
Interpret: operate and analyze data, then explain results
Justify: discuss good and bad points and conclude that it is good
Prove: discuss good and bad points and conclude that it is good
Criticize: discuss good and bad points and conclude that it is bad