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How to master multiple-choice questions

Multiple-choice questions
Multiple-choice questions are often used in tests and exams. With these types of questions you are faced with either a question or a statement, several possible answers and you have to choose the correct one. Imagine you are playing "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", but at school. Unfortunately, at the end of the game, the reward is not the same! In tests and exams, this type of exercise is a very effective way to check your knowledge. Despite what some people say, these are not easy questions. You need to read a lot in a short time and make decisions quickly.

In this article you will find advice on how you can master multiple-choice questions, what mistakes to avoid and how you can prepare for your next test or exam.

Prepare for the test

Revising for a multiple-choice exam is different from revising for a 'normal' exam. For multiple-choice questions you need to know the facts and the information just as a teacher has taught it to you. You don't have to be as creative as in a longer written questions or essays. Using flashcards and questions can be a good way of studying for multiple-choice tests since you'll learn all the facts in a targeted way.

Manage your time well

In the exam, before you start answering the questions, you should think about how you are going to manage your time. Look the total time you have for the whole test or exam and compare it with how many questions you need to answer. That way you can see how much time you can spend on each question. It also helps you to keep a cool head if you know you can complete the whole test in the time given and still have some time left to review everything at the end. During longer examinations it can be helpful to take short, focused breaks, for example to drink water or stretch your arms.

Read the questions carefully

This advice applies to all the tests you have, whether multiple-choice or other types of questions, always read the question well before you answer. In multiple-choice questions there may be a hidden negative, or a small word which changes the meaning of the question. If you miss this, it can go very wrong. So be careful, it's a good rule to read each question twice before choosing or writing your answer.


If you are not sure which is the right answer, use the method of elimination. Look for the answers that are definitely not correct. When you have a smaller set of possibilities, try to find the correct answer. This technique can help if there is a lot of information or very long and complex sentences. If at first glance you cannot choose an answer to a question, skip over it and then go back when you're finished with the test. Sometimes the questions that follow help you to understand the previous ones.

Tip: In multiple-choice questions, it is very important to always choose an answer. An unanswered exercise will always be wrong, but if you choose an option that feels right, there's a chance you might get it right!


There are several ways of marking a multiple-choice test or exam. Each correct answer normally is awarded one mark, while incorrect answers can be awarded zero points, negative points. It is important to understand how the marking is done before the test or exam starts. If wrong answers get you negative points, you have to be more careful and you can't just guess all the answers.


Multiple-choice questions are not necessarily easier than open-ended ones. Preparing and revising the content well is important as your knowledge will be thoroughly tested. The most important thing is to read all the questions carefully to avoid careless mistakes. Remember to look at how much time you have and manage your time well! Answer all the questions, even if you have to take a calculated guess if you're not sure.

Finally, stay calm and concentrated. Being stressed can cause you to make mistakes and remember, if you revised and studied well, all of the answers you need are inside your head!
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