Making the most of MCQ exams

Follow our simple guide to avoid the pitfalls of multiple choice questions.

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While they might seem like a refreshing change from traditional essay-based exams, Multiple Choice Question based exams have their own pitfalls. They’re easy to avoid as long as you follow our simple guide to acing your MCQ!

  1. Revise using flash cards – they’re the best thing to use when needing to remember lots of bite-sized facts. Just write a question/fact/summary on one side and the answer on the other and test yourself. This works well for remembering articles and studies, too.
  2. Past papers – if you’re unfamiliar with the format of MCQs, a good way to get acquainted with them is by finding past papers from your department. These should be available on Moodle, or perhaps when revision classes start up again after Easter Vacation.
  3. Make notes over time. Learning facts and set answers needs time enter the brains long term memory. Remember to revise early and start making banks of revision notes and flash cards of key concepts as soon as you can to avoid stressing out later!
  4. Read the (entire) question! It seems obvious but get into the habit of really asking yourself if you’ve understood the question. This is an invaluable skill to make sure you know what you’re being asked to do. Don’t lose marks by rushing through and misreading a simple sentence, or even just a word.
  5. Eliminate wrong answers. Discount any answers that are definitely incorrect. This enables you to re-read any options that could be the correct answer.
  6. Answer the questions you know first. This is particularly useful if you are under time constraints. This will then allow you longer to focus on the more challenging multiple-choice questions.
  7. Don’t leave answers blank. If you are really not sure you are best to make a calculated guess. Refer to point 5 and eliminate wrong answers and then make your best from there. Remember to check if the exam answers can be marked negatively I.e. Some exams have a system where wrong answers can lose you marks. Ensure this is clear before starting your exams.

Good luck for your exams! Don’t forget to join our Essex SU Exam Mode Facebook Community group for more exam top tips and the chance to win prizes every week of exam season! 


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