Multiple Choice Questions

In this type of test, you're asked to select the correct answer from a group of given answers. Many vocabulary tests, for instance, are multiple choice.

One major advantage for the student with this kind of test is that the correct answer is always given. As a result, the shrewd student can often find the right response simply by process of elimination.

On the other hand, it's just as important to read the directions carefully with multiple-choice tests as with any other type of exam. Too often, for instance, students will assume that on a vocabulary test, the question is calling for a word with the same meaning (a synonym), when what's really needed is a word with the opposite meaning (an antonym).

Sometimes, the student can find the correct answer by asking a series of questions about the item. This kind of self-questioning can help clarify what the question is really asking and can assist you in eliminating obviously wrong answers.

Here's an example:

A selfish person is:

1. puny

2. young

3. vulgar

4. wealthy

5. egotistical

In thinking through the question, you should note that because of the way it's phrased, using "is" instead of "may be," a selfish person must have one of the listed chaiacteris-tics. It's not enough that he might have one or more of them. So you could pose these questions:

Is a puny person always selfish?

Is a young person always selfish?

Is a vulgar person always selfish?

Is a wealthy person always selfish?

Is an egotistical person always selfish?

Clearly, the first four statements aren't true. That leaves only the last statement as the correct answer to the test question.

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