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How to Study for a Multiple Choice Exam


How to Study for a Multiple Choice Exam

Study for your multiple choice exam

How to study for any test

A multiple choice exam. Everyone knows what one is. You read a question, then choose the letter of the correct answer from a group of available options. Simple right? Not quite. Studying for a multiple choice exam is a skill to learn, as is taking and passing a multiple choice exam.

Before you show up to test day unprepared, read the steps to study for a multiple choice exam below and up your odds of getting the score you want.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Increments of 45 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Ask for test content.

    Ask your teacher what he or she will be putting on the multiple choice exam. Will there be vocabulary? Big ideas or small facts? If you memorize all the vocabulary and it isn’t on the test, then you’re wasting your time. Find out first! Even better – request a study guide. Teachers will often provide one.

  2. Start early.

    Nothing beats time when it comes to learning. The best way to learn something is to participate in class, take careful notes during lectures, and create a study schedule for days ahead of test time, rather than cramming minutes before. To study for a multiple choice exam, start a week ahead if possible, studying in small increments until you get to test day.

  3. Review your notes/handouts/quizzes.

    Your teacher has probably already given you much of the test content in your notes, quizzes and former assignments. So, go back through the material. Rewrite your notes or type them up so they're legible. Find the answers to incorrect quiz questions or problems you missed on your assignments. Organize everything so it's ready to be memorized.

  4. Set a timer:

    Do not spend three hours studying for a test in a row. Bad, bad, bad. Your mind will overload, and you'll start daydreaming, doodling, or otherwise disengaging from the material. Instead, set a timer for 45 minutes, study, and take a five-ten minute break when it goes off. Repeat. Set the timer again for 45 minutes, study, and then take a break. Keep following this process, until you're confident in your knowledge

  5. Learn the material.

    Remember that you're going to have choices on this multiple choice exam (hence, the name), so as long as you can differentiate between the right and "kind of" right answers, you're golden. You don't have to recite any information – just recognize correct info. Use mnemonic devices like drawing pictures, creating acronyms, or singing a song to memorize the info from your notes, quizzes, handouts, and book. Use flashcards if necessary. It's always better to overlearn than underlearn. Memorize as much as you can.

  6. Get someone to quiz you.

    To test your knowledge, choose a study partner to ask you questions from notes, former quizzes and assignments, offering you a few options for you to choose from. Go back through anything you missed.

  7. Review multiple choice testing strategies, so you know which types of answers to avoid on test day.


  1. Learn what a multiple choice test question might look like:

    The body of a camel is so amazingly ----- to survival in the desert that it can withstand even the harshest of desert climates.
    A. adapted
    B. modified
    C. integrated
    D. commodious
    E. acquainted

  2. Practice taking multiple choice tests:

    ACT Math Test
    PSAT Sentence Completion Test
    SAT Writing Test
    More Practice Tests

What You Need

  • Your notes
  • Your textbook
  • Former assignments
  • Former quizzes
  • A healthy snack
  • A beverage
  • A pencil
  • A study partner
  • Quiet!
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