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6 Study Strategies for Taking Multiple Choice College Exams

Though it would be great if there were a one-size-fits-all study method for whatever types of exams you may have to take during your college career, there isn’t. But there are practical tips that you can put into action to make studying for each type of exam easier. Make your study time more effective by putting these six strategies in place for each of your multiple choice exams.
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Start early The best way to study for any test is early. Starting the studying process early allows you to attend group study sessions, ask your professor questions and give your brain time to “digest” all of the material so that you truly know the material. A deep knowledge will help you feel confident, which will reduce test anxiety.
Study in chunks Since you are going to start your studying early, you will be able to schedule your study time in chunks of time, rather than trying to cram. Set an alarm to go off in 20, 30 or 45 minute increments and take a short break when the alarm sounds. Studying this way will assistance you in staying focused and alert while better retaining the material.
Use a free app We all know that college students love to use technology for everything, so why not use it for studying? There are several free, quality apps available now that can help you to organize material and make your own virtual notecards to study from. Using technology also allows you to use time that is normally wasted, like short breaks in between classes, to study, since you will always have your study materials with you.
Get organized Beforeyou begin studying for a multiple choice test, go through all of your class notes and get them organized. Organizing by date is often the best way, but depending on the class, you may want to organize your notes according to how concepts are related to one another. Decide what works for you so that when you sit down to “crack the books” you can save time and eliminate frustration by avoiding having to shift through your notes trying to find what you need.
Study past quizzes/exams Of course you will want to study from lecture notes and textbooks also, but reviewing past quizzes and exams from the class can provide you with a great deal of insight about what to expect this time. Look at the mistakes you made, find the patterns and then use that information to study. Did you misread questions? Did you miss multiple questions on one topic? You can also learn a lot about how this professor writes exams. Do they most often have “C” as the correct answer? Do they like to write questions in the negative? All of these pieces of the puzzle can help you study effectively and plan a strategy for taking the next multiple choice exam in the class.
Understand a wide overview of the material Multiple choice tests usually cover a large body of material. Therefore, you will need to know details about concepts, but also will need to know about most, if not all, of the material covered in the class. Starting early and staying organized will make reviewing all of this information less stressful and more manageable.