How to Revise for Multiple Choice Exams

A multiple-choice exam is an assessment where students answer questions or statements with a list of possible answers and select the correct one from the choices provided. Revising for a multiple choice question (MCQ) exam differs from written exams that require students to construct their answers, often in essay form or short answers. Thus, revising for MCQ exams requires a different approach than revising for written exams. So, here is some guidance to help students revise for multiple-choice exams.

How to Revise for Multiple Choice Exams
Revising for MCQ exams requires a different approach than revising for written exams.

Types of Questions in Multiple Choice Exams

There are many types of MCQs that students must revise for. Each type assesses different skills and knowledge. So, here are some common question types that students may encounter in their exams with examples.

Standard multiple choice questions: These are the most common type of MCQs, where the student must select the one correct answer from a set of options. For example:

Which of the following is an example of a renewable energy source?
a) Coal
b) Natural Gas
c) Wind
d) Oil

True/false: The student must select whether a statement is true or false. For example:

True or False: The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world.
a) True
b) False

Fill-in-the-blank/Fill-in-multiple-blanks: The student is presented with a sentence or statement with one or more blank spaces and must choose the correct word or phrase to fill in each blank from a set of options. For example:

“The five ________ of the earth’s crust are the inner core, outer core, ________, mantle, and crust.”
a) layers, asthenosphere
b) regions, mesosphere
c) parts, stratosphere
d) zones, troposphere

Multiple answers questions: The student must select all the correct answers from a set of options. For example:

Which of the following are prime numbers?
a) 1
b) 2
c) 3
d) 4

In addition to the MCQs above, many other question types can test a student’s extensive understanding of a topic rather than just their ability to recall basic facts.

The kind of MCQ used in an exam depends on the learning objectives of the assessment and the specific knowledge and skills to test.

However, revising for MCQ exams requires a slightly different approach than preparing for written exams.

Revision Tips for Multiple Choice Exams

Here are some tips to help students revise for multiple-choice exams:

Focus on the key concepts

MCQs often test your understanding of essential concepts, ideas and theories, so ensure you have a solid grasp of the main concepts in the course. Revise your lecture notes and textbooks and identify the key ideas and theories you need to know.

Revise for multiple choice exams by using practice tests

Practice tests are a great way to familiarize yourself with MCQs and the questions that are likely to be asked. Use past papers or practice quizzes to test your knowledge and understand what you need to work on.

Pay attention to details

MCQs often include subtle differences between answer options, so ensure you read the questions and answers carefully. Pay attention to details like keywords and qualifiers (e.g., “all,” “most,” “some,” and “none”) that can change the meaning of the question.

Use the process of elimination

If you’re unsure of the correct answer, use the process of elimination to eliminate the wrong options. This strategy will increase your chances of guessing correctly.

Note: educational institutions sometimes apply guess correction to MCQs. Guess correction is a method used to adjust a test taker’s score based on the likelihood of them surmising the correct answer to a question they did not know the answer to. Your institution will tell you beforehand if they apply guess correction in the MCQ exam.

Review your answers

Once you’ve completed a practice test or a section of an exam, go back over your answers and review any questions you got wrong or weren’t sure about. Reviewing your answers on a practice test will help you identify areas where you should focus your revision efforts.

Summary

Remember, MCQ exams often test your ability to apply knowledge to specific situations, so ensure you understand how concepts apply to different contexts.

Finally, good luck with your MCQ exams!

Remember to check out my other pedagogy posts because they will help you succeed at university.

Did you enjoy this student guide about “How to Revise for Multiple Choice Exams”? If so, please like and share. Thank you!

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