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Understanding how to Answer Questions on Multiple Choice Tests

Objective-type tests generally consist of four main types of questions. The easiest of these is probably the definition question, which asks you to define or describe something. The test item is short and the possible answers usually are brief. Generally, this type of question asks you to recall some memorized fact or concept.

The "except" question causes you to reverse gears and look for an incorrect or untrue answer, which becomes the correct response. Typically, the stem of this question is, "All of the following are true except." You have to remind yourself that you're not attempting to locate a true response, but something that is untrue. You could answer this question by also identifying all of the true or correct responses, which only leaves you with the incorrect option and the right answer.

Story questions require that you blow away the smoke to get to the fire. Often, a story question is long and contains extraneous information. You need to underline what is important in the question. The key to success is making sure you understand what the question is actually asking.

Multiple answer questions may require that you convert the test item into a true and false question and/or identify certain option guides to help you along your journey to the answer. The important thing is not to panic. These types of questions are not as threatening as they may appear.

Regardless of the type of objective question, remember the answers are all there! It's an open-book exam. You simply need to approach this type of exam with the right preparation, attitude and test-taking skills.