The Exam Writing: 1

Midterms are approaching like a freight train, like a airplane coming in for a landing, like a puppy whose leash has broken. Here are some quick exam writing tips, for multiple choice exams mostly:

  • If noise bothers you, wear earplugs at the exam. (No, not earphones, sorry.)
  • Read the question--no, seriously. Don't skim it, you're bound to miss an important word.
  • Think about the answer. Don't read the choices, not yet--they are sure to distract you. Jot your answer on the exam booklet, if possible. Then look at your choices.
  • Rule out obviously incorrect distractors. (That's what the incorrect choices on multiple choice exams are called. They're there to distract you. Seems kinda mean. Still, it's better than the term, "this'll-fool-'ems")
  • Can't decide on the correct answer? Is it eating you up inside, like last night's extra spicy four-bean chili? Are you starting to obsess over it? You're wasting time. Move on to questions you can actually answer. Come back to more difficult ones later. You can guess on them if you can't figure them out--that's better than leaving them blank (yes, I've seen this happen).
  • Take extra care when questions have negatives; you have to spend more time working out the negatives, or even double negatives.
  • Be careful when deciding to change your answer. Research has shown that changed answers are frequently wrong.
  • Put your name on the exam.
Why aren't you studying?


Daniel said...

Something missing: noseplugs? I swear the guy next to me during the midterm on wednesday smelled just like meatloaf and ketchup. Not in the good way. MAJORLY distracting..

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