Wednesday, March 31, 2010

HOW TO SOLVE MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS

Look at the test paper and plan your time when you first get the question paper, don’t just throw yourself into answering the question paper.

* What are the total number of questions?
* How many sections?
* Which question is worth solving than others?

Once you have gone through the entire paper, pace yourself such that you finish the paper 10 minutes before the actual time limit. This will allow you to check some silly mistakes, left questions or over read questions.

Try taking frequent breaks in the middle of the exam by stopping and closing your eyes, taking a deep breath. This will clear your mind of all the stress and help you to stay fresh during the whole exam.

If you are completely lost and not able to solve the problems, here are some strategies to narrow the field and select correct answers.

Ask yourself whether the answer you are considering completely addresses the question. If the test answer is only partly correct only under certain narrow conditions, then it’s probably not the right answer.

If you think that the question posed is a tricky one then think again. Very few instructors would ever write a question intended to be deceptive.

If you suspect that the question is a tricky item, make sure you are not reading too much into the question, and try to avoid imagining detailed scenarios in which the answer could be true.

In most cases tricky questions are only tricky because they are not taken at face value.


For every MCQ question on the test you have 2 options

Solve the problem directly.

The Process of elimination.

Let’s discuss the first option. In general, solving the problem might always be faster than the process of elimination.

If you are not so comfortable with the topic or the question then choosing elimination will be the best choice.

Solving the Problem:

Solving the problem is the most straightforward way to reach your answer as long as you feel comfortable with the lesson or the subject being tested.

It’s mainly a two step process Read the question but don’t look at the answer. Try to understand the question. Rephrase it if you don’t understand the question and then devise a concrete plan to solve it. Solve the problem.

Once you solve the problem –only then see if your answer is listed among the answer choices. We can’t stress enough that if you are trying to solve the problem directly, you should avoid looking at the answer choices until the end.

Since trap answers are often the values you would get at the halfway point of the process of working out the problem if you peek at the choices you may get tricked into thinking you have solved the question before you actually have.

The Technique of Elimination:

Every MCQ has options in which one is correct. So you need to check each option which one works. On certain occasions working backwards could actually be the faster method then just solving the problem directly.

Do work backward when the question describes an equation of some sort and answer choices are all rather simple numbers. Don’t work backwards when dealing with answer choices that contain variables or complicated fractions.

This technique can only be mastered by regular practice. Whenever you solve an MCQ at home always try out solving it using the elimination process only after solving it in subjective manner.

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