Six Strategies for Multiple Choice Tests

Multiple-choice tests can be both helpful and challenging. Having an array of answers in front of you can serve as a memory aid. At the same time, choosing between several close possibilities can be stressful. And, what if you don’t know the answer at all – should you guess?

In the last of his three guest posts on test-taking, ADHD Coach Jonathan Salem offers six strategies for answering multiple-choice questions. His first guest post addressed preparing for tests and the second discussed general strategies to use during a test.


1) First, answer all the questions you know for sure and can do quickly without a lot of thinking. Get them done and out of the way.

2) Second, complete all the answers you can figure out with some thinking, but not too much time. If a question takes too much time, move on and save it for later. Note the question number on a piece of paper so you can find it later with ease.

3) Third, review questions that you might make an educated guess on. First, use the process of elimination to limit which answers are possible. In other words, eliminate the answers that you know are wrong. If you eliminate 2 out of 4 possible answers, then you have increased your odds of guessing the correct answer.

4) After using the process of elimination, and making your educated guess, stick with it. The only reason to change an answer you guessed is if you come up with FACTS that counter your choice and lead you to another choice. In the absence of a good solid reason to change an answer, your first answer is more likely to be correct.

5) If you have no clue how to answer some of the questions, you can apply the following strategy. Choose a single letter, such as A, B, C, or D, but only one, such as B, and put that in for the answer for every question you don’t know the answer to. By sticking with just one letter, you are likely to get about 20-25% of these remaining questions correct by simple chance. Switching letters may
reduce your odds.

6) If you still have time, go back to any questions that require a lot of time to calculate or reason out, and now you can spend the time to properly calculate and answer.

Guest post by Jonathan Salem, M.S. who specializes in entrepreneurship, applied technology, and coaching clients with personal obstacles to overcome, including ADHD and/or mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. He can be reached at 409-ADHD-NOW (409-234-3669) or

If you would like help with test-taking or other aspects of school success, consider working with a coach! See for more information

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