If you are like most college students you will have to take a lot of multiple choice exams. And for most students preparing for and passing these exams is one of the most important and potentially fearful parts of your university experience.
After all, getting a good start in the competitive job market or going on to graduate school requires your grades stand out from the others.
To score well on multiple choice exams you need to be able to learn what to expect on your examinations, to create appropriate test plans and strategies, and to then do a comprehensive review before you take the exam.
Does This College Student Sound Like You?
Many college students do not have a systematic method for preparing for multiple choice exams. They study in a haphazard way and end up missing some of the most essential points. As a result they do not perform as well as they should on examinations. The goal of this prep guide is to provide you with a concise set of test prep techniques for preparing for multiple choice exams.
The technique that you should use to practice for your multiple choice exams has three parts. It involves (1) researching the nature of the exam, (2) learning and reviewing the exam material, and (3) taking the exam. If you follow these three steps you will have success in preparing for your examinations and passing the exam.
Problem: Many students go to exams without carefully researching the nature of the exam. For instance, they may not read the syllabus carefully so they do not know what will be on the exam. They may be unaware that there is outside reading that is going to be on the test.
Solution: You must know exactly what is going to be on the exam before you take it. You must read the syllabus carefully and understand exactly what will be on the test. Ask your instructor to tell you how many questions will be on the exam and what proportion of the exam will come from each part of material that is covered on the exam. Make an outline of the exam showing what you can expect. Use this outline will help you prepare for the exam.
Problem: Students usually focus a lot of effort on studying for a multiple choice exam, but they may forget that studying is really only a small part of the overall work in the course. As a result their studying is not effective. More and more hours doesn’t always equate to effective use of your review time or improving your exam score.
Solution: You must focus on learning the material in the course, and this learning occurs every day during the semester. You will learn the material in the course as you read the course material, as you listen to the course lectures, and as you integrate the material together. Research shows that the only real way to learn material is to study it regularly and consistently, and to integrate the material. When you have learned the material throughout the semester, then when you study for the exam your studying will be to review and refresh what you have already learned, not struggling to learn weeks or months of your university courses cramming in a 24 hour marathon.
TAKING THE EXAM
Problem: College students sometimes go to the exam not being confident or prepared for it. As a result they do not score as well as they could.
Solution: Because you have kept up with the reading and attended all of the course lectures, and because you have prepared for the exam by reviewing and integrating what you have learned, you will be ready and confident to take your examination. But you must have good exam-taking skills (1).
Get to the exam room early and get a seat where you can feel comfortable. Do not sit next to your friends. Bring an extra pencil so that you do not have to worry about that. When the exam is handed out be sure to fill out the cover sheet with your name and other information. Then look through the exam and make sure that you see all of the parts (sometimes material is printed on the back of pages). Take the exam slowly but steadily keeping in mind the time constraints that you have.
How To Put This Review Method Into Practice
Because you have followed each of the steps in this study technique you will be prepared for your multiple choice examinations you will be ready to pass all of your exams. Focus during the class on learning the material so that when you study you are reviewing what you have already learned. Be sure that you understand exactly what the instructor expects you to know for the exam. Then go to the exam prepared and confident that you can do well.
About The Author:
The author Alice Aires is a former college test taker, college professor and test prep expert. She has helped many college students pass teacher certification tests like the Praxis II test and nurse licensure such as the NCLEX. Mrs. Alince helps college students study more effectively, improve their scores in university exams and raise their grades. As a leading contributor to Teaching Solutions she assists in the development of their prep books and practice exams for the ETS Praxis test, TExES, GACE, NCLEX, FTCE, ASVAB, professional and graduate school admissions tests.