Each of your students will discover his or her own strengths and challenges throughout the semester. This rings especially true during midterms and finals. Many students today identify as “poor test takers.” But with a little guidance, any student can improve their instincts and arrive more prepared to excel. Share these tips with your students for mastering  multiple choice questions.


Multiple choice exams present a whole different set of challenges than, for example, a long-form exam. As such, studying for a multiple choice exam may even call for a slightly varied study method. There are likely to be far more questions in a multiple choice exam, meaning there is the potential to cover more material.

You may also need to ensure that you have more dates, names and vocabulary down pat. These are details that are not easily memorized the night before. Begin studying little by little, make flashcards, and quiz yourself whenever you have a few minutes.

Brainstorm some questions you think might appear on the exam and swap them with a study partner.


The day of the test is generally not the time to ask the questions you should have asked days ago, but do speak up if your instructor offers to take a few.

Exams that have a lot of questions require you to pace yourself. Take a quick look through the test so you know how far you have to go. If you’re worried about time, circle the questions that you’re struggling on after penciling in your best guess, and move along. Return to them at the end if you have extra time. You may even come across another question that jogs your memory for the answer.

Don’t go too fast and make sure you read every answer option. We’ve all gotten questions marked wrong with the explanation of, “your answer was correct, but another answer was more correct.” Or you may mark the first option, when in fact, it was “All of the above.”

Most importantly, come into the exam as prepared, well-rested, and calm as possible.

For advice on essay-style exams, review our post, “Tips for Students: Effective Test-Taking Strategies for Essay Exams.”

How do you prepare for multiple choice exams? Share your ideas below.