Download APHuG MC Tips and Strategies Sheet

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Multiple Choice Test Tips and Strategies
The Process for Tackling Multiple Choice Questions
1. If a stimulus source is associated with the question, source the document.
-read the title and captions
-read keys and labels
-trends and patterns in the data you notice
2. Read the question stems for all questions associated with the stimulus. Underline any key vocab words or
verbs that will help you answer the question FOR EACH QUESTION. *this is a pre-reading testing strategy to
prepare you for answering the questions and starts your thinking process about the question*
3. Read all the answers first BEFORE elimination.
4. Use process of elimination and cross out the answers that do not fit.
a. Eliminate answers that are not related to the question concept/stimulus
b. Eliminate answers that relate to the question but make a mistake of fail to adequately answer/cover the
c. Whatever is left (work backwards): Can you explain why your answer is THE answer to the question
being asked? If you are confident in your explanation, move on to the next question.
Additional Tips When Trying to Decide Between Two Answers:
Go back to the question stem and reread the question. Did you underline the key words
and the thinking verb?
Look for an outlier. If you have four core nations and one periphery nation as answer
choices, the answer will probably be the periphery nation.
Look for commonalities in answers. This will help narrow down your choices (answer
choices that are similar)
NEVER pick a choice you have not heard of. Assume I have done my job and touched on
every major concept. Hopefully you have done your job reading and taking notes for
each chapter and prepared for the exam ahead of time.
The wording in the answer that is similar to the question stem is usually the correct
If the answers are full sentences and you cannot decide between two, choose the
longest answer.
Choose an emergency letter and stick with that letter if you cannot eliminate between
two and they are the same sentence length. Stick to that same letter throughout your
test as a last resort. Obviously, if your emergency letter is wrong, do not choose it.
-AVOID going back and changing your answers! If you have done the tips and strategies
above, your answer is your best choice at that moment in time. Trust your gut!
-Do not leave any answers blank. You may run out of time at the end to go back and
decide. Choose an answer, make a side mark to remind yourself to go back, and then go
back if time.