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How to Answer Multiple Choice Questions

Last updated February 27, 2021

Both the SAT and ACT contain multiple-choice questions. Unless you're attending community college or a certificate program, you'll probably take at least one of these tests if you are preparing to enter college. Check out our guide below on how to ace multiple choice questions.

Read the entire question.

Read a multi-choice question in its entirety before glancing over the answer options. It may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how much we don’t read the complete question! Students often think they know what a question is asking before reading it and jump straight to the most logical answer. This is a big mistake and can cost you dearly on multiple-choice exams. Read each question thoroughly before reviewing answer options.

Answer it in your mind first.

After reading a question, answer it in your mind before reviewing the answer options. This will help prevent you from talking yourself out of the correct answer.

Use the process of elimination.

Want to decrease the test pressure? Use the process of elimination. Cross out all the answers you know are incorrect, then focus on the remaining answers. Not only does this strategy save time, it greatly increases your likelihood of selecting the correct answer.

True or false test.

Read the question carefully and if you’re muddled by looking at the options, give each option a true or false test. Cross out the false answers and by this way the most appropriate answer can be found out.

Look for answers hidden in questions.

A complete reading of the question is one way to find out a few answers. This is because for some questions answers are found in the question itself. Take advantage of these freebies whenever possible.

Select the best answer.

It's important to select the best answer to the question being asked, not just an answer the seems correct. Often many answers will seem correct, but there is typically a best answer to the question to get it correct..

Answer the questions you know first.

If you're having difficulty answering a question, move on and come back to tackle it once you've answered all the questions you know. Sometimes answering easier questions first can offer you insight into answering more challenging questions. The tests questions get harder as you go.

Pay attention to these words...

Pay particularly close attention to the words not, sometimes, always, and never. An answer that includes always must be irrefutable. If you can find a single counterexample, then the answer is not correct. The same holds true for the word never. If an answer option includes never a single counterexample will indicate the answer is not correct.

"All of the above" and "None of the above"

When you encounter "All of the above" and "None of the above" answer choices, do not select "All of the above" if you are pretty sure any one of the answers provided is incorrect. The same applies for "None of the above" if you are confident that at least one of the answer choices is true.

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