How to Prepare for Different Exams Types
Another common exam type is the multiple choice. Such papers commonly test factual knowledge, but be prepared for questions that move beyond this simplistic approach to multiple-choice papers.
The learning skills team at the University of Victoria explain that students..
...are often asked to do more than just recognise textbook material. Multiple choice questions, they learn, require fine distinctions between correct and nearly-correct statements. They learn that these distinctions are not only of Recognition, but are distinctions that involve the thinking for Synthesis, Analysis, and Application. These higher-order thinking questions sometimes make the content of the questions unrecognisable. Besides not being fully prepared for these types of thinking questions, students often read the questions carelessly. Therefore, it is to the students' advantage to learn about the thinking required to answer multiple choice questions and to learn how to read the questions carefully (2004, The multiple choice exam, para. 1).
At a more basic level:
- Make sure you are familiar with the terms and definitions within your subject.
- Again, practising by working through example multiple choice questions is a good way to prepare for a multiple choice exam. However, accessing past papers is problematic as they are often not readily available. Try
- checking your textbook or lecture notes for example questions.
- forming a study group, where each person develops a number of example questions.
- Some multi-choice exams are structured so that you can lose marks for wrong answers. Check this before your exam, because if so, this will affect your strategy when answering the paper. In this case, you cannot rely on lucky guesses.