Multiple Choice Test-taking Strategies

As exam season quickly approaches, you will encounter many multiple-choice tests soon! Learn some tips, strategies, and insight about acing these tests with ease!

Generally, you will find various test strategies on the internet. However, applying these strategies to your exam can be pretty daunting.

Every test requires a different technique; however, multiple-choice questions are a little tricky to get right, as they are designed to confuse your brain by giving you multiple possible answers.

No strategy is fool-proof, and not all of them work perfectly. So, what can you do to make your multiple-choice test a little easier? Let’s find out.

Tips to Answer Multiple Choice Test

Practice makes perfect. Of course, to polish your skills, you would need to practice these tips in your exams and find out which strategy works the best for you. Here are some multiple-choice test-taking methods for students.

Read the Question Carefully

This strategy is a no-brainer; even if you are in a hurry, merely glancing over questions will get you nowhere.

Take your time with each of them and always read the entire question. The pressure of taking an exam can sometimes make you miss essential question details. So please make it a rule of thumb to always go through the question slowly and read it twice, at least.

Hide the Answer Choices

This tip works great because you do not have to worry about the choices. Instead, hide the answer choices and then read the question.

When you follow this often, you do not get confused by the plausible answers. Sometimes, multiple-choice answers are pretty straightforward, so the correct answer automatically clicks when you hide the choices.

Once you read the question carefully and answer it, you can then reveal the written answers. If you find your solution in the list, it is highly possible that you chose the correct answer.

Narrow your Choices

This is one of the most effective multiple-choice test-taking strategies out there. Why? Simply because it narrows down your choices to the most likely answers.

First, start by crossing out two of the most unlikely multiple answers. When you have done that, you will be left with fewer choices to choose your answer from, and you can calculate or solve the question to select the correct answer.

Many multiple-choice tests have a different marking system, sometimes you can get the point for the closest correct answer, and sometimes your points are deducted because of a wrong answer.

In this case, this trick works efficiently by getting you a little closer to the correct answer by eliminating the most impractical answer choices.

Never Rule Out an Option

Let’s suppose you think the answer (B) is correct; set it aside. But, never rule out other options; you may never know that the answer (A, C, or D) might be correct.

You need to make sure to find the correct answer. So, never eliminate the other options because of your first choice. Multiple-choice tests are often deceiving, and what looks like the right answer may not be the correct choice, after all.

Work out multiple solutions and possibilities the best way you can before answering your questions.

Take Your Best Shot

Answering multiple-choice questions is pretty tricky, so trust your knowledge. If, after all the possible solutions, you are still unsure and cannot choose, search the two possible answers.

Usually, students get too overwhelmed and can not think right. Whenever this block happens, it is okay to take a guess.

Take your time, make an educated guess, and select the answer you know can be correct. Answering a question might be better than not answering at all. Cross out any reply that you think can be 100% wrong to make your choice easier.

Do Not Get Stuck

Remember, the clock is always ticking, and multiple-choice tests do not offer much time. Therefore, solving all the questions carefully lies in time management.

If you can not answer a question, move on to the next question. This is important because you need the time to review your paper, and you can always come back to the questions you left out later.

Usually, the answers click while you are solving other questions. However, if none of the solutions you know to stick out to you, carry on with your exam and review it later.

Multiple Correct Answers

Multiple-choice tests are usually confusing, and you will often find yourself with two possible correct answers. In this case, you would have to select the best choice and make an educated guess.

If the question requires you to solve a problem, select the closest value for your answer.

Look Out for These Words

Often, students choose the wrong options because they do not read the questions correctly. However, even if you do read it, some words you can easily miss can change the whole context of the questions.

Note words like “not, always, sometimes, may, and possibly.” Remember, these words can probably save you from choosing an incorrect option.

Collect examples from your previous test and gather what you know; answer your questions by carefully reading them; this will help you answer questions by following a pattern of your teacher’s test-taking techniques.

Build an Order

Taking a multiple-choice test requires some discipline. First, remember to answer your questions consecutively. Often, questions are linked together, and answering questions in random order can create confusion and take more time.

Assess the Type

Multiple-choice tests are of many types, and often you will get multiple choices like “none of the above” or “all of the above.” The trick to solving these questions is reading the choices carefully; if you are sure one of the options is true, select “all of the above.”

Similarly, if you are sure one of the answers is incorrect, choose “none of the above” from the answer choices.

The Guessing Game

After all the tricks and tips, if you still can not differentiate correct answers from incorrect ones, try guessing the pattern of your exams.

Usually, it is safe to put your bet on a positive answer. A simple tip is to use all your knowledge and take a guess to find out what choice has the most information. Most probably, the solutions with more details are accurate.

The first guess you make is instinctive so when you are unsure about a question, trust your gut. However, it may not always be correct, so be mindful of what could and could not be the best answer out of all the choices.


Taking tests and exams is not easy, the process of preparing for a lengthy course and practicing previous papers may be complex, but it can increase your knowledge.

The more you know, the easier it is to score points and ace your exams. Multiple choice test taking can be intimidating at first, but surely you can learn to eliminate incorrect answers and choose the best solutions you know.

Search for clues and note them somewhere in your exam paper; this will help you remember details on top of your head.

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