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Test Taking Tips: Type of Test

Not all tests are alike: plan accordingly!

Multiple choice

  • Try to answer the question in your head, before you look at the answer choices.
  • Read all of the answer choices.
  • Eliminate the answers you know are wrong.


  • Look for key words (all, always, never, every, none).
  • Ready questions carefully! One word will often determine if a statement is true or false.

Essay Questions

  • Read each question and start with the easiest one.
  • Briefly brainstorm ideas if you are unsure of how to begin.
  • Restate the question.
  • Begin with your main idea and then add supporting details; in other words, get to the point!
  • Use complete sentences.
  • Write neatly.

Open Book/Open Note

  • Spend time preparing like you would for a normal test.
  • Get familiar with the book/notes.
  • If permitted, write down all the most important formulas and key information.
  • Highlight and focus on the main ideas.

Computer Generated Tests

  • Use scratch paper.
  • Check if the test is timed or has a close date.
  • Make sure you know the rules of the test and testing location.