Is it A, B, C or D?
Turns out there are a few strategies you can use when you encounter a difficult multiple-choice question. Try a few as you practice using the B&B problems and practice exams.
Deal with the question:
- Read the question, at least twice.
- If it is still confusing, rewrite the question on your scratch sheet of paper.
- Try and generate the answer before looking at the answer choices. This will help you from accidentally picking the most familiar or distracting choice.
- Draw it out. Making a visual or a diagram may help you see the problem better.
Use the answers:
- Eliminate wrong answer choices. While not guaranteed, your suspicion should rise with statements of absolute, words like always should cause you to read twice. There are only a few things that are always with medicine. The same thought process should occur with extremely long answer choices. The denser the wording the more confusing it is trying to be.
- Work backwards using the answer choices. You can pretend that each one was placed there intentionally. It might be a distracter. If you can figure out what common mistake students make that it is trying to catch, then you can be more certain that it is wrong.
- For something that involves math or an equation you should be able to plug the answers into the equation and get the numbers from the question. This is a great way to check your work and make sure you haven’t made any careless errors.
- Go with your gut. When you hit the test, you’ll know more than you think you do. This isn’t the time to stress out and second guess yourself.
What other strategies do you have?? Let B&B know how you manage to get through long exams! Contact us any time firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Dr. Kerri Lyons