Strategies For Test Taking
The Multiple Choice Challenge
• Read the directions carefully
• Answer the easy ones first
• Go back to the difficult ones
• Answer all questions
• Use all the time allotted for the test
Do the math!
Time allotted to take the test
Number of test questions
85 minutes 2.43
• Eat a healthy breakfast
• Get enough sleep
• Don’t stress out!
• Circle the key words in
a difficult question
– This helps you stay
focused on the central
More Tools- Predicting
• Try to formulate an answer
before you read the choices.
– This helps avoid choosing
appealing answers that only
• Cover the answers with your
• Read the question and predict
• Find the choice that most
closely matches your
Try It Out!
The feline family includes many animals- from the
tame housecat to the vicious lion. Amazingly enough,
these animals have many traits in common. They all
have strong hunting instincts. They all care for their
young. Furthermore, if you stand a housecat beside a
lion you can observe consistent physical features, such
as their whiskers. Just make sure that the lion is not
hungry at the time.
According to the passage, what physical feature do
lions and housecats have in common?
Now look at the choices!
• Does your prediction match any of these answer
• If it helps you stay focused, write your prediction
before you look at the answer choices.
• Don’t forget to transfer your answer to the answer
Why that answer?
• (A) The only physical trait mentioned in the
paragraph is whiskers. This is the best prediction.
• (D) might be a tempting answer choice because it
is mentioned in the passage. However, it is a
physical state not a physical trait.
• (B) is also tempting, but it is not mentioned in the
The Art of Elimination!
The more answers you eliminate,
the better your chances!
# of choices Chances of guessing
eliminated the answer
What can you eliminate?
1. Which of the following helps Luke Skywalker attack the
• Eliminate choices that use extreme language: Never, Always,
None, All, Best, and Worst.
A. He never doubts that he can win.
• Eliminate choices that are too narrow or broad:
B. He is a Jedi Knight in training.
• Eliminate choices that are true but do not answer the
C. He sees his friend and teacher killed by Darth Vader.
• Eliminate choices that contradict the passage:
D. He learns that his destiny is to side with his father.
How many choices can you eliminate?
2. There is enough information to show that
Zachary won the race because-
A. He didn’t try hard.
B. He trained very well
C. He despised running.
D. He was the best in the world.
Why not that answer?
• (A) does not make sense if
Zachary won; it contradicts the
• (C) is extremely negative, and
doesn’t make sense if he won the
• (D) is also extreme and therefore,
Watch for extreme words!
• All, most, some, none
• Always, usually
• Seldom, never
• Best, worst
• Smallest, largest
Predicting and Eliminating Together!
How many states begin and end with the same letter?
Why that answer?
•You can think of Alabama, Ohio… a good prediction
would be about 10.
•That number is not a choice, so here is where the
Eliminating Strategy begins.
• The first choice is too low and can be eliminated.
•Choices (C) and (D) are way too high (extreme
language) and can also be eliminated.
•The correct answer must be (B).
The 3-Step Plan for Underlined Questions
• Identify the error
– Try to figure out what is wrong. WARNING!
You don’t have to know how to
Beware of Choice
(D) in these
• Make a prediction questions; Choose
– Predict which part of the
“Leave as is” only
sentence will be fixed and
eliminate the answer choices if you are
that do not address that part. absolutely sure
• Plug in the answer choices that there are no
– Plug in the choices that are left
and see if they sound correct.
Try It Out!
Use all three steps of the method to attack this question.
1. The film Jaws was releasing in the 1970s.
A. releasing in the 1970s.
B. released in the 1970s.
C. was released in the 1970s.
D. Leave as is.
Step 1: Identify the error.
A. What is wrong with this sentence?
B. Which answer choice can you eliminate now?
Step 2: Make a prediction.
C. What part of the sentence needs correcting?
D. Which answer can you eliminate now?
Step 3: Plug in choices.
E. What answer choices sound wrong?
F. What is the correct answer?
What about Fill-in-the-Blank questions?
Predicting doesn’t work for these, so just jump
to the Plug-it-in part.
2. Which of the four Vlahakis brothers is the __________?
C. more smart
D. most smart
Try each choice out; Which one sounds best?
Trust your ears, but remember test makers will include
choices that sound good to you, even though they are
Last, but not least…
Respond with confidence