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Tips for Answering Multiple Choice Questions (Grade 8)

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Tips for Answering Multiple Choice Questions

Instructions: Many students breathe a sigh of relief when they hear a test will include multiple choice questions. Although multiple choice questions offer the advantage of the answer being in front of you, test makers employ many strategies in order to keep the correct answer from being the obvious option.

Read the following tips on how to approach multiple choice questions then try the strategies on the questions that follow. Compare your answers to the explanations at the end of the worksheet.

When faced with a multiple choice test question, try the following strategies:

1.) Cover the answer choices before you read the question. This will allow you to think of the answer without the distraction of incorrect answers. Try to come up with a reasonable answer if you are not sure of the correct answer.

2.) Read the entire question. Underline or circle any qualifier words or phrases that set a restriction or is absolute. Examples include: always, never, sometimes, probably, not, must, often, cannot, only, except.

3.) Read all of the the choices before answering.

4.) Use process of elimination to rule out choices that you are confident are incorrect. Even if you can only cross out one choice, you have increased the likelihood of getting the question correct.

5.) Put a line through the letter(s) of any answer choices you eliminate. Leave possible answers open. Do not cross out the entire answer as you may need to go back to it later.

6.) If an answer choice is only partly correct, that choice is most likely wrong.

7.) Answer choices are usually designed not to be tricky, rather, the choices tend to be based on common errors or misconceptions. Think of the most likely ways a student could get the question incorrect, try them out, and if the answer is a choice, eliminate it.

8.) Pick an answer. Unless the test does not penalize you for skipping questions, you must select a choice. Pick the best one from the options you did not eliminate.

9.) Once you have selected an answer, reread the the entire question to double-check that your answer is the best option. Make sure you answered what the question asked.

If [math]ang2[/math] is a right angle and line m is parallel to line k, then which statement is correct?
Parallel Lines - Perpendicular Transversal
  1. [math]ang6[/math] must equal [math]90deg[/math]
  2. [math]ang6[/math] may equal [math]90deg[/math]
  3. [math]ang6[/math] cannot equal [math]90deg[/math]
  4. Not enough information to determine
All of the following are acceptable units for density, EXCEPT
  1. g/mL.
  2. kg/L.
  3. g/cc.
  4. g/cm.
Grace makes a diagram using the Moon image seen below. She draws Earth to the left of the Moon and the Sun to the right of the Moon. Based on Grace's diagram, which statement is most correct?
Moon Phase - First Quarter
  1. A lunar eclipse will be seen from some locations on Earth.
  2. A lunar eclipse may be seen from some locations on Earth.
  3. A solar eclipse will be seen from some locations on Earth.
  4. A solar eclipse may be seen from some locations on Earth.
A geologist finds a rock and breaks it into two pieces to examine the crystals inside. The two pieces of the rock are then labeled Sample A and Sample B. Sample A is twice as large as Sample B. Which of the following statements is true?
  1. Sample A is denser than Sample B.
  2. Sample B is denser than Sample A.
  3. Sample A and Sample B have the same density.
  4. Sample A and Sample B are both less dense than the original rock.
A photographer increases the size of a picture by 50%. The image still was not large enough so she increased the image by another 25%. What percent of its original size is the picture now?
  1. 75.0%
  2. 87.5%
  3. 175.0%
  4. 187.5%
Answer Explanations:

Question 2:
Pay close attention to the words, "must," "may", and "cannot" in the answer choices. Eliminate the choices you know are incorrect or only partly correct. Using the diagram, angle 6 is a right angle, so eliminate choice "C". Also, eliminate choice "D" because the words, "must," "may", and "cannot" from the first three options cover all conditions. From here, guess between "A" and "B" or apply your knowledge of geometry theorems to select the correct answer "A".

Question 3:
Circle the word "EXCEPT." Three of the answers will be correct, so be careful not to select the first answer that looks right, you are looking for a wrong answer. If you are not sure of the formula or units for density, look for the answer choice that is different from the others. In this case, "mL," "L," and "cc" are all units for volume, but "cm" is a unit for length. Select answer "D" because it is different from the other choices.

Question 4:
Circle the phrase, "most correct," it implies there is more than one correct answer so beware of selecting the first answer that seems correct. Based on the answer choices, there are two decisions you need to make, whether the eclipse would be lunar or solar and whether the eclipse will be seen or may be seen. Even if you can only decide on one of those two factors, you can then eliminate two choices and guess.

Question 5:
Eliminate choice "D" as it is the least like the other three choices since it compares the sample to the original rock and not the other sample. From here you will need to use your understanding of density to select the correct answer.

Question 6:
Be on the look out for common errors. Do a quick logic check or estimation. If you increase the size of something, it gets larger, so as a percentage the answer must be greater than 100%. Cross off choices "A" and "B". A common error would be adding 50 and 25 to get 75, so even if you are not sure how to do the math, cross off choice "C" and select "D."

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