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Center For Academic Excellence

CAE | Studying for Objective Tests

Although you may not always think so, objective tests measure your understanding and mastery of course concepts and critical issues as much as they measure your retention of specific facts. As a matter of fact, this one truth may be the answer if you have trouble with multiple choice, true/false tests, and matching tests.

Often students think that objective test-taking requires the facts and nothing more. But to be successful on objective tests, students must understand, not just memorize facts.

  1. Take detailed notes in class; copy them over after every class.
  2. List the facts, terms, names, dates in “plain English.”
  3. Write, in your own words, an explanation of the theories, ideas, and concepts.
  4. Study by asking yourself how each thing is similar to or different from each and every other thing.
  5. Study by asking yourself what other words the teacher might use to ask about the material. (Remember: There is always more than one way to say the same thing.)

Using this guide, keep a list of some of the concepts, ideas, or theories that you don’t understand and ask the teacher or another student to discuss them with you. 

Developed by
Jennie Ariail, Ph.D. - Director
Tom Waldrep, Ph.D. - Director (retired)

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