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National College of Ireland


Exams guide: Multiple Choice Questions

Preparing for Exams with Multiple Choice Questions

Preparing for the Exam

These exams normally contain short questions testing your knowledge on a wide range of topics and also your attention to detail. You need to be certain of your knowledge in order not to be distracted by the answers that aren’t quite correct

There are different kinds of multiple choice questions; familiarise yourself with the type  of questions that will be used in your exam 

While the correct answer will always be in front of you, you will need to know your topic in sufficient detail in order to select the correct answer from a number of similar answers

You will need to revise no less thoroughly than an ordinary exam

When revising, pay attention to the definitions of particular terms and concepts and base your study on the range of topics covered in your lecture notes and handouts

Answering Multiple Choice Questions

Doing the Exam

You will normally be expected to answer all the questions so work out how much time you have to answer each one and plan for time at the end to revisit questions that you are unsure of

For multiple choice sections in exams, there is no need to read through all the questions in advance – first go through the paper and answer the questions that you are sure of

Read the questions carefully – perhaps try answering the questions first without looking at the answers

Don’t rush to select an answer – make sure that you have carefully read each option before you select an answer

If you’re struggling with an answer, adopt a process of elimination by discounting any obviously wrong answers thereby reducing the number of possible correct answers. If two answers still seem to be correct, look again to see which one completely answers the question

Answer every single question – unless it has been specifically stated that marks will be taken away for incorrect answers, you have nothing to lose and perhaps some extra bonus marks to gain; educated and even random guesses can earn you a couple of extra marks

If you finish before the allotted time, go back over the questions to make sure that you have interpreted them properly

For more information on answering multiple choice questions, take a look at this guide from the University of Melbourne