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Succeeding at Tests with a Good Attitude

True or false tests should be prepared for in the same way as any other test. Basic test-taking techniques need to be applied to this type of test. In addition, you should be aware of certain clue words, such as "only," "always," "never," etc. When these words appear in a true or false test, most often the answer is false. As is true with any test, careful reading of the question or test item is essential. This is possibly more important with a true-false test. Matching tests require the same approach and techniques.

The predominant type of objective test given to adult learners is the multiple choice exam. Success with this type of exam begins with preparation, review and study, and the use of basic test-taking techniques. There are four basic types of test items:

The definition item is usually a short, simple question and answer format. These are the "easy" questions.

The except item forces you to find a false or incorrect response -- "All of the following are true except ..." You have to say to yourself that you're looking for an incorrect, not a correct, response.

The story question takes a concept and "hides" it in a short scenario. This type of question requires that you be able to find the important information and pay little or no attention to the irrelevant data. You have to be able to blow away the smoke to find the fire.

The multiple answer question is a long, sometimes complicated test item. These complexities often can be reduced to simple terms by converting the options into true-false items. In addition, by careful reading of the question, you can reduce your choice of answers by eliminating certain distractors. This process can help to reduce the complexity of this type of question. Test taking should not be a major trauma if you approach the task positively, use basic test-taking techniques and use specific skills depending on the type of question being asked.

Test-Taking Success = Attitude + Testing Skills + Techniques