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Tips for MCQs

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Nguồn: st
Người gửi: Lê Quang Thuyết (trang riêng)
Ngày gửi: 06h:03' 17-11-2010
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Số lượt tải: 11
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Free – response items
True – false
Fill in the blanks
Completion items
Match the items
Multiple – choice questions or MCQs, and
A variation or combination of these types.
II. Strategies for objective tests taking.
A. Preparation for taking objective tests – general suggestions.
Briefly look over the entire test to see what is ahead of you.
Read the instructions for the whole test and each subsection and make sure you understand them. If in doubt, ask. Many students are in such a hurry to start the test they do not read the instructions and make careless errors as a result.
3. Note the number of items and figure out how much time you have to answer each one. For example, if there are 50 items and your teacher limits the testing time to 50 minutes, then you obviously have only about a minute to answer each question. The point here is that you should time each item with a stopwatch. Simply monitor your progress periodically to make sure that you do not get caught in a time crunch. Remember to allow time for:
3.1. Answer the easy items first to get the maximum number of points. This relieves tension and gives you confidence, thus loosening up material from your mind as you proceed.
3.2. If a test is more than 1 hour in length, give yourself 5 or so minutes to clear your mind, stretch, and go to the restroom.
3.3. Check to see that your responses were marked in the correct places on the answer sheet.
3.4. Are there penalties for guessing? If not, answer every answer.
3.5. If you think you know an item but are not sure, mark your response and come back to the question. However, first impressions or intuitions tend to be correct, so if you do change your answer be sure you have a good reason to do so; research indicates that in 3 out of 4 times your first choice was probably correct.
3.6. If the question seems intelligible, reword it or break it down into part.
3.7. Return to questions you couldn`t answer initially and try them again.
3.8. Don`t waste time reviewing answers of which you are confident are correct.
3.9. Beware of mandatory words such as “never” or “must” or “always”. The obvious answer might not be correct if there are exceptions to the statements.
3.10. Words such as “seldom”, “normally”, and generally” or ‘usually” allow exceptions, however.
3.11. Use information from other test items. Often the answer to a question is found in another.
B. Tips for types of objective tests taking.
1. True – False questions:
1.1. Watch for qualifiers or mandatory words such as "always," never," or "must."  If they are present, chances are the statement is "False," since few things are "always, "never," or "must."
Example: (Comprehension Unit 7 – English 12, 7 years)
Question b (page 102): American men always shake hands when they meet. T / F
The obvious answer here is false (F). And questions c, f, h in this unit have the same forms as the example above.
1.2. If a question contains words such as "seldom," "normally," or "generally", ect. where an exception would not alter the answer, chances are the answer is "True".
Example: (Consolidation Unit 4 – English 10)
Question 4 (page 185): Their language is somewhat different from the Queen’s English. T / F
Even if you were not sure of your correct answer, you may choose F by referring to the adverb “somewhat”
1.3.If a statement is more specific than most, chances are it is "True."
Example: (Unit 1 – English 12, 7 years)
Question d (page 10): English is spoken as the first language in many countries besides the United States and Britain. T / F
2. Multiple choice questions (MCQs)
* General rules for MCQs
In multiple choice questions, anticipate the correct answer before looking at the options.
Relate response options to the question one at a time.  And be sure to read all of the options!  Often people stop with the first option that looks right.
Balance options against each other.
Have good reasons for eliminating options.
2.1. Cues in the options
2.1.1. Most General options:
The correct option is often the most general, since the most general option includes the most information. You will often find a list of items that have some very technical and specific alternatives and one option which is more general. Chances are the most general option is the correct one.
Example: (Unit 2 – Reading skills, English 10)
Question 4 (page 19): How did he obtain military secrets?
A. He passed the exams for the Civil Engineering University.
B. He attended the University of Technology.
C. He quietly gathered bit by bit some thirty thousand pages of documents on weapons.
D. None are correct.
Even if you aren`t sure of the correct answer, you can see that the alternatives A, B, and D, all deal with specific facts and details about some period of Tran Dai Nghia’s life. C deals with a main feature of obtaining a matter by realizing “gathering bit by bit…” phrase. Since C is more general and allows for more variability, it is correct.
2.1.2. Length:
The correct option is often the longest. If you have noticed that most of the correct answers have been the shortest, then when you aren`t sure, select the shortest. If, on the other hand, most of the correct answers have been the longest, select the longest answer when you are unsure. No particular trend for either? Try the longest.
2.1.2. Length:
For example: (Unit 2 – Reading skills, English 10)
Question 4 (page 19): How did he obtain military secrets?
A. He passed the exams for the Civil Engineering University.
B. He attended the University of Technology.
C. He quietly gathered bit by bit some thirty thousand pages of documents on weapons.
D. None are correct.

In this item, C is the longest and therefore is most likely correct. In this case, it is correct.
2.1.3. Middle Value:
The correct option is usually of middle value. If the options range in value - old to new, early to late, big to small - and you are not sure which one is correct, eliminate the extremes and pick from the middle value or values.
2.1.3. Middle Value:
Example: (Consolidation unit 3 – English 10)
Question 5 (page 127): How much oxygen does the Amazon forest produce in each year?
A. 40% B. 14% C. 44%
D. None are correct
Eliminate the two extreme values, B and C. Since B and C are extremes, they are probably incorrect. This leaves you with two alternatives from which to select your answer. In this case, A is correct.
2.1.4. Two options Mean the Same:
The correct option is probably not one of a pair of similar statements. If two options mean the same thing, and there is only one correct answer, eliminate both of them. Neither will be correct. Make your choice from those remaining.
2.1.4. Two options Mean the Same:
Example: (Consolidation unit 3 – English 10)
Question 8 (page 129): That foreigner doesn’t have an entry visa. He entered the country _____________.
A. illogically B. wrongly
C. incorrectly D. illegally

Since options B and C have similar meanings, choose between alternatives A and D. The correct choice is D.
2.1.5. Two options are Opposite:
The correct alternative is probably one of a pair of direct opposites. If you notice that two alternatives have opposite meanings, one of them is probably correct.
2.1.5. Two options are Opposite:
Example: (Consolidation unit 3 – English 10)
Questions 6 (page 129): Whale hunting _____________ the whale species.
cancels B. kills
C. endangers D. maintains

Notice that options C and D are opposite. Therefore, you would eliminate the other two options are given, one of them is correct. In this item, C is the correct response.
End of tips for
objective test taking!

Thank you for
your listening!
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