Multiple choice questions are quite common and can be written in a couple of different ways. They may state a question directly and then present a number of answers, or they may contain part of a sentence and several possibilities for how the sentence could be properly completed. The following are strategies to help you tackle these types of questions effectively.
- Don’t read the answer choices right away: When you arrive at the multiple choice section of your test or exam, try covering the answer choices while you read the question. If you think of an answer and are fairly confident it is correct, the next thing to do is to check whether it is listed in the answer choices. If so, this is the answer that you should choose.
- Eliminate incorrect choices: Many people encounter difficulty when trying to choose the correct answer from a list of choices. For problematic questions, it can be helpful to eliminate the answers that you know are incorrect first. If you eliminate one or two possibilities that you are certain are incorrect, you will then only have two or three possibilities to choose from, which increases your chances of success.
- Make sure the answer “fits”: Make sure that the answer you are considering is a logical choice. For instance, if a question is asking about the name of a process (a noun), and one of the answer choices is a verb or an adjective, that possibility can be eliminated with certainty. If the question is written in a way that requires you to complete a sentence, read the entire sentence to yourself before choosing an answer. If something just sounds off or there are major grammatical problems with the sentence, cross out that possibility and consider the other answer choices.
- Consider “all of the above” and “none of the above” questions carefully: Some multiple choice questions will have the phrases “all of the above” or “none of the above” as possible answer choices. There are a couple of ways to determine whether these choices are correct. First, if there are only one or two questions with these answer choices on the test, it’s likely that these answers are correct where they appear. If there are three statements and you are sure two of them are correct or incorrect, but aren’t sure about the third, it’s usually a safe bet to circle all of the above or none of the above.