How to Survive a Pop Quiz (When You Dont Have a Clue)

If youve ever had to take a test you werent prepared for – this article is for you.

Obviously, there are many types of surprise exams – and Ill provide some advice for handling each type here:

Multiple Choice Questions
If you dont know the answer straight away, here are some multiple choice question tips:

  • If two answers are very similar, except for a few words, choose one of these answers
  • If the answer calls for a sentence completion, eliminate the answers that would not form grammatically correct sentences.
  • It two quantities listed are almost the same, choose one of them
  • If answers cover a wide range of numbers (1.3, 100.89, 1000,89), choose one in the middle range.

True and False Questions
Even though you have a 50% chance of getting these questions right, they can be really tricky, so read every word carefully. Here are some tips:

  • If any part of the statement is false, the entire statement is false.
  • Look for words like all, most, sometimes, never, or rarely. Those are important qualifiers upon which the question depends.
  • Absolute qualifiers like ALWAYS and NEVER generally indicate a false statement

Essay Questions
Write as if you expect your teacher to be tired, bored, and overworked. Make your essay well-organized and interesting – and youll win every time. Just make sure you answer the question.

  • Make a quick outline to argue your point (3 or 4 solid arguments)
  • Get straight to your point – dont write unnecessary sentences like there are a variety of interesting points to consider when answering this type of question.
  • Start your essay arguing the best point first
  • Answer common objections

*This post is inspired by a tweet sent to me from Arthus – who recommended an article like this be written. Thanks again for the recommendation.

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