How to Take Test?

Most of the aptitude and intelligence tests are comprised of a questionnaire with multiple options for each question. A multiple choice test can be a simple or complex exercise to know alertness of your mind. What does a test administrator demand from you?

In most of the cases, the multiple choice questions are set from a range of simple to very complex items. They are designed to measure your capabilities and high order thinking skills such as application, apprehension and analysis. They may be different in content and style. But they contain two common elements in each item:

1- Question/Stem/Statement

2- Answer choices

The first element may be a question, a negative or an incomplete statement. For example:

‘Who is inventor of the IQ tests?’


‘The inventor of the IQ tests is…’

In both situations, the answer is Alfred Binet. However, in the first instance, your correct answer shall answer the question. In the second case, your selection shall complete the sentence. If the stem contains a negative such as ‘not’ or ‘except’, you will be required to tackle a false/true situation.

The second element is made up of 4-5 questions. The answers may be listed with letters or figures. But there can only be one correct option.

Multiple Choice Test Taking Tips

A multiple choice test has a formal and structured procedure. It is administered under examination conditions and is to be completed within a strict time limit. There is no alternative for a real working knowledge of the subject matter being tested. However, when you combine your knowledge with the following tips, you shall score much better than your competitive lot.

1- Prepare Well

Some people think that you need not to prepare for a multiple choice test. They are incorrect. It has been proven many times that proper preparation, knowledge of test structures and styles, and sufficient practice may help you to score better then other candidates. It is advisable to prepare well before you encounter a multiple choice questionnaire, with the following tools:

• Practice with puzzles, word games, mathematical reasoning games, puzzles with diagrams etc

• Practice basic mental arithmetic with and without a calculator. Read financial reports and study data in charts to get familiar with mathematical procedures.

• Practice extracting important points from passages of information.

• Read books with test questions.

• Visit websites containing material about test taking preparation.

List is long. But, first go through remaining tips to take multiple choice test successfully.

2- Scrutinize the Examples

Almost every multiple choice test offers sample questions with solved answers. Go through them to be sure that you know what they mean. If you feel any difficulty or problem, just ask the administrator to help you.

3- Read the Question Carefully

“It is obvious”, you say…

But most of the candidates make wrong choices just not understanding the questions correctly. It is not unfortunate but carelessness. When time presses, you should never sacrifice your correctness for speed.

4- Encircle Important Words/Keywords

While going through a question, always encircle important keywords to help you to select the best possible option. For example a question includes a negative or exception, encircle that. In most of such cases you shall find true/false options to select. For example:

‘Which of the following is not associated with the measurement of your intelligence?’

Encircling ‘not’ in this question shall help you to remember that there is a negative in the question. It shall also make easier to find a false statement from the offered choices.

‘All of the following are related to the measurement of your intelligence except…’

Encircling except shall help you to remember that you are looking for an answer that does not make the question true. It is an exception to the major part of the question.

5- Read Every Choice of a Question Carefully

It is another multiple choice taking tip …

But again many people miss the correct option because they check as soon as they reach to an ‘obvious answer’. They don’t read the remaining options. You should never forget that most of the items contain options as following:

• One unlikely option • Two poor answers • One possible answer • One correct answer

There are chances that you may check poor or possible answer just to take the test quickly.

6- Use Process of Elimination

Once you start reading the answers, start eliminating unlikely, poor and possible answers in an orderly fashion. Most probably, the remaining answer would be a correct answer.

7- Don’t Read Between the Items Too much

You need to read between the items but not too much. Excessive reading may distract your attention from the right path. You should take the questions at their face value. Don’t over analyzed otherwise you are at a risk to misinterpret the meanings of a question and its choices.

8- Don’t Look for Trick Questions

It is commonly known that each multiple choice test contains some trick questions. With a little effort you can recognize those questions. But you must not waste a lot of time just for finding such questions. It is better to understand a question, eliminated unwanted options and make the correct choice.

9- Look for Absolutes

While answering multiple choice questions, watch for absolutes such as all, never, none, and always. They leave no room for exceptions. In most of the cases, the answer choice containing an absolute is not correct.

10- Watch for Your Speed

Your ultimate IQ score shall be determined by the number of questions that you will answer correctly. Obviously, you need to act correctly and quickly. Manage your time limit very wisely. In most of the cases, you will have to answer a question within sixty seconds or less time.

When you encounter a question that is really difficult, put a mark next to it and move on. On completion of your test, you can come back if time allows. Spending of a lot of time on any single question shall evaporate your time limit quickly.

11- Don’t Change Your Answers

You can reach to the correct choice after passing through the elimination process. After a couple of minutes or on re-reading your answers you may feel an urge to change your answer. In most of the situation such feeling is result of your being nervous. Don’t go for your second guess.

If you have time and serious doubt about your answer, just re-start process of elimination. Once you become sure that your first selection was wrong, you may go for the new result.

About the Author

Psychometrics? Some believe in them and others reject them altogether. However, reality lies in between. Saqib Ali Ateel unlocks secrets of personality, intelligence, aptitude and testing at

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