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The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

Strategies for Multiple-Choice Questions

Mylie Brown
Practicing your multiple choice question skills is what makes you better!

It is safe to say that the student I am now is far different from the student I was at the start of my junior year. For the first half of my high school career, I was a far more unmotivated student, mainly because no matter how hard it felt like I had been trying to study, I just couldn’t score well on tests. I was always good at doing my homework and having that hold my grade in place; however it was always my tests that would hold me back from getting a grade I was proud of. 

I knew that I wanted to see a change in my academics going into junior year, which is why I decided to change how I study. This caused me to do a lot of research on some of the best studying strategies and also the best test taking strategies – which I found to be the most beneficial. Thus, I would like to share some of the test taking strategies I have acquired from my research.

To start, AP review books provide a lot of telling insight to how to approach multiple choice questions. One of the first strategies that has helped me the most is the process of elimination. I feel like in the past I have gone through multiple choice tests and just picked the answer that seemed most correct at first; however; tests will typically have a distracting answer that seems correct. You can find this answer if you start eliminating the obviously incorrect ones and then compare the two possibilities. That will help the correct answer stand out slightly more and lead you closer to success. Natalia Soto (11) stated that, “Usually when I’m struggling on a test, I use the process of elimination method. This helps me identify questions that are incorrect so I am able to choose the right answer.” Additionally – as a major overthinker – I typically have found myself sitting on certain multiple choice questions for a long time and analyzing every possible way one answer could be correct. Yet, from what I have learned, it is much better to move on from questions that you’re stuck on and just push forward. If the process of elimination doesn’t make the answer more obvious at first, it might be later once you have completed more of the test. Sometimes questions later on will give you insight to the question you are stuck on, which can help lead you to the correct answer.

Usually when I’m struggling on a test, I use the process of elimination method. This helps me identify questions that are incorrect so I am able to choose the right answer.

— Natalia Soto (11)

Another factor to consider when answering multiple choice questions is carefully reading the questions. Too many times have I found myself ending up with the incorrect answer because I misread the question. At times questions will be worded to make you think harder about it, especially when the questions says “except” or has a negative wording to it. What I always do is circle the word that makes the question more of a trick question so that it really stands out and I do not forget.

Aside from strategic tips I have learned, I have also found certain patterns in finding answers when in doubt. For example, often the longest answer out of the options is the correct one. While this is not always true, it has at times gotten me the correct answer when I would have otherwise, never gotten it. 

Overall, if you are a bad test taker – like me – then finding various test-taking strategies will be crucial in order for you to be able to gain more points on your exams. There are so many different resources to research with like AP review books, the internet, and youtube videos. It is also great to practice your test taking skills, since it is a skill that you can improve on like how you can get better at a game or a sport. Don’t let the MCQ control you, control the MCQ.

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About the Contributor
Mylie Brown
Mylie Brown, Photojournalist
Mylie Brown is a junior here at YLHS who is eager to begin her second year as a photojournalist for The Wrangler. She loves keeping herself involved as she is a part of many different activities on campus. Mylie is currently the Junior Class President, and her favorite subjects are English and History. In her free time, you can find her reading, spending time with her friends and family, or listening to music. She is so excited for her final two years at YLHS and hopes to make this the most memorable year yet!

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