Multiple Choice Questions: Pick a Proper Answer Easily

The most important tests you will ever take have a multiple-choice format. Your driver's exam, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), and even your voter ballot offer numerous options. For some of these tests, there is no penalty for wrong guessing, but for others, certain answers can hurt. On the SAT, for example, you won't lose any points for leaving an answer sheet blank, but you will if the picked answer is incorrect. This rule is meant to discourage students from simply crossing their fingers and filling in a bubble. Although the odds that you will receive a good score simply by guessing are quite low, they improve dramatically if you learn how to deal with multiple-choice questions properly.

Your Chance to Guess

As you are undoubtedly aware, most of the academic tests have three or four wrong answers for every right one. Some of these questions offer no room for interpretation, and there are not any nuances. A math question, for example, is often fairly straightforward. So, if you don't know it and there's a possibility to lose some points, don't try to guess! That, in fact, explains why many students use a chance to buy college papers and avoid any wild guessing. Of course, if you can drop at least one option and are sure about that, supposition may be the best strategy.

Identify the Distracters

Incorrect multiple-choice answers are technically known as distracters. They aren't there to confuse good and smart students, but rather to identify those that don't know the material. As a result, unprepared learners are far more likely to take the bait and select a distracter. On the other hand, those having a fairly firm grasp of the subject should be able to spot these phony answers in two shakes. At the very least, they should be able to eliminate one or two ludicrous options.

No, we don't give you the green light to guess on every answer. But if you can eliminate at least one, it simplifies the process and helps you move on with the next questions. Remember, if you can whittle your options down from one in five to one in three, youк average score can be higher.

"All of the Above" is Working

If the correct answer is complicated and involves several different aspects, many standardized tests will use partially correct answers as distracters. They may give options such as "A and C are correct" or "B and D are correct," and then include the familiar "all of the above" option at the end. This choice isn't always right, but if you can eliminate at least one option, it may work.

Should you Guess C?

Unless you're a super genius who is always prepared for every test, you will inevitably encounter at least a few questions that can leave you flummoxed. Since time is almost always is a critical issue on multiple-choice exams, you must choose between guessing and leaving the answer sheet blank. We don't endorse this advice with any degree of certainty, but it frequently turns out that the most baffling questions have C as an answer. The creators of the test have a funny habit of hiding the right answer between the distracters since they know — only the brightest students will be able to understand that. It may look like this:

Choose the correct statement:

  • a. The sky is red
  • b. Sun is cold
  • c. The grass is green
  • d. Snow is hot

So, selecting C is sometimes a good strategy.

Know the Material!

Any list of tips on how to ace a multiple-choice exam would obviously be incomplete without mentioning the most crucial advice — study hard! As difficult as they may be, these tests really are designed to identify the students who don't know the subject matter well. After all, the correct answer is always right in front of you. It's not like you have to fill in a blank with a new theory or come up with something from scratch. As long as you have a good grasp of the material, it should be easy for you to fill in the right bubble. And, when you don't know the correct answer for sure, use your analytical skills and follow our advice.

Last thoughts

As we mentioned, guessing is a sound strategy in most cases. But if you are completely clueless about even the simplest questions, pay attention to the C option — frequently, it is the correct one. Of course, don't forget to stay competent in your subject matters. It is a bad strategy to rely only on your luck and hope to guess the answer right.