Multiple Choice Paper Is A Gift To The Ignorant

Author: Ian McAllister

Multiple Choice

Multiple choice tests are unfair in your favor. You should be able to pass them all, once you know how.

They were invented so that a computer can mark them. Supposedly that results in examiner bias being eliminated. Of course, the real reason is that a computer is a lot cheaper than paying an examiner would be. See also multiple-choice-question.

Computers are stupid – Use that fact

If you have had anything to do with spam filters for your email, you will know that the computer doesn’t always get things right. For instance, if your filter is set to block messages containing the word sex, then a spam message containing the word “s e x” would get through but not a job application sent from the county of Middlesex.

So the computer must be set to do a very simple job with multiple choice, because if a clever program failed a candidate who got all the right answers, there would be a public outcry.

Answers straight down the page

If you answered “b” for each multiple choice question down the page, a human examiner would spot it immediately, but a computer just checks locations a, b, c, and d to see what you have entered.

Why would you want to answer straight down the page?

Suppose you have 100 questions still to answer, and only 2 minutes left to answer them. If you don’t answer any, you will get no marks. If you answer straight down the page, you might get 25 right answers. This means that you should never leave a multiple choice question unanswered. If you fill in all the questions, you should get about 25% of them right.

You can read about this, and nine other ways to beat multiple choice exams in Exam Mastery.