Objective tests include those with multiple-choice, true/false or matching questions. Use the following suggestions to help you take an objective test:
- Before you start taking the test, preview the entire test – Survey to find how many questions there are and of what type. Set a time limit so that you will have at least five minutes at the end to recheck your test.
- Read the directions, carefully, making sure you understand exactly what is expected.
- Find out if you are penalized for guessing. If not, always guess and do not leave any unanswered questions.
- Carefully read each question; underline key words.
- Anticipate the answer and look for it. Read all the alternatives before answering.
- Do not read into questions what is not there.
- When your anticipated answer is not one of the options, discard it and systematically concentrate on the given ones.
- When two or more options look correct, compare them with each other. Study them to find what makes them different. Choose the more encompassing option unless the question requires a specific answer.
- Pass over the difficult or debatable questions on your first reading and come back to them after completing those about which you were sure.
- Use information from other questions.
- In all questions, especially the true-false type, look for specific determiners. Words such as “rarely,” “usually,” “sometimes,” and “seldom” allow for exceptions; “never,” “always,” “no,” and “all” indicate no exceptions.
- Mark statements true only if they are true without exception. If any part of the statement is false, the whole statement is marked as such.
- Stay in one column of a matching test. Usually it will be the column with the definition. Work backward to find the word or symbol that matches it. Be sure to find out if the answers can be used more than once.
- If you know you made an error, change your first answer. If it is just a guess, keep your first impression.
By Paul D. Noltlng, Ph.D., Winning at Math, 1997