Test-Taking Tips

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These test-taking tips are helpful on any multiple-choice exam:

1. Understand the question. It is worth rereading each question before answering it. Beware of words like "EXCEPT" and "NOT".

2. Eliminate wrong answer choices. Cross them out on your test.

3. Avoid choosing answers that have sweeping terms, like "every" or "never" or "always" or "all" or "none" or "only".

4. Look for the answer that best fits the meaning and scope of a question, just as you look for a key that best fits the shape of a lock. For example, if a question asks about what motivates how people vote, look for the answer that focuses on something people care most about.

5. When undecided, go with your first impression and don’t waste time changing answers, unless you see a good reason to change an answer.

6. When you see two possible choices that are almost identical to each other, then consider rejecting both because both cannot be correct.

7. Manage your time. Not getting to questions really hurts your score.

8. Do the easy questions first. Some questions will be easier for you to do than others. These questions are the ones that you are most likely to answer correctly. Get them out of the way and make sure they are answered. If you have to leave questions blank, make sure they are not the ones you could have done if you had simply looked for a moment.

9. Know the difficulty level of the questions and choose answers accordingly. If questions are arranged in increasing order of difficulty, as on the SAT, you know whether a question should have an easy answer or a difficult answer. The first questions shouldn't take much time or effort, while the last questions should.

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