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Academic Study Skills

This guide can assist you to increase your understanding of course material, improve your marks, and make learning a little less stressful. Here you will find strategies for time management, reading and note-taking, study skills, and test-taking.

Test Taking - Multiple Choice

Here are some strategies to remember when writing multiple choice tests:

1. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you are stumped, move on to another question and come back to the difficult questions later.

2. Try to answer the question before looking at the options. Then choose the option that best matches your answer.

3. Make sure that you read all options. Read every word, and re-read both question stem and options (if necessary) to make certain that you understand everything that is presented. The best answer will be relevant to the course.

4. You can usually eliminate some of the options. When you have narrowed your choices down to two, read each option carefully and make the most informed choice that you can.

5. Re-phrase the question and read each alternative as a statement. This may help you eliminate an option, or may help you see the information more clearly.

6. Be careful of verbatim passages; they look plausible, but may not answer the question.

7. It is not true that you should never change your answers. Ignore that advice. However, don’ t change your answer out of nervousness; change it if you are certain that you should.

8. If you really don’t know the answer, always guess unless there is a penalty for wrong answers.

9. Watch for qualifiers: Words like “always, never” will often eliminate an option. Words like “seldom, frequently, sometimes” are preferable. However, note that they could be interpreted in a variety of ways – making them a bit ambiguous.

10. Ignore the pattern of answers. You may have lots of answers of the same letter in a row.