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How to Improve Your Multiple Choice Test Scores Using Study Groups

by S. Merritt on March 27, 2014

I received this inquiry the other day:

“…my scores on 3 tests have been in the mid 60’s, not normal for me!! And on top of that the dreaded “select all that apply” I know the material and understand it with all the signs and symptoms but can’t seem to get through the instructors tests, which are so different from her lectures! Any suggestions?”

Like most multiple choice test problems, once you know the content, the real issue is the test format itself–multiple choice questions are a different way of looking at the material compared to how you learned it, and that’s tricky for some people.

The answer? More practice with the test format. You need to do as many sample multiple choice tests and questions as possible in the time leading up to the test.

But what if you can’t find any? What if your course material is unusual, or you’ve simply done all the sample tests you can find? No problem: just make your own.

How to Create Your Own Sample Multiple Choice Questions

1. Find A Few Friends

About five people is ideal. All they need is a familiarity with the material (they’re in the same class as you) and a willingness to put in less than an hour’s work.

2. Each Person Creates 20 Questions

Using their study materials, each person is responsible for creating 20 multiple choice questions. If you find 5 other people besides you, then each person in the group will end up with 100 new study questions.

3. Review and Reap the Rewards

Share the questions around. Do it by paper, shared online docs, email, whatever. That’s it!

The payoff for this is huge. Not only do you get 100 new multiple choice questions to practice with, but you get massive study gains from actually creating questions yourself!

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