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Multiple Choice

As a student in high school, I was stuck with multiple choice questions in my chemistry class. For some reason these types of tests were easy for me to answer. I was able to eliminate most of the answers until I had a 50/50 chance. Now there was a girl sitting next to me that didn’t have it so easy. She was more about socializing than studying. At the time I thought she was stupid. Maybe she was. When we would take the exam she would copy off of me. This irritated me for she wasn’t the most friendly person towards me until the exam time. Indeed, she was rather rude towards me any other time. I was not this popular being nor was I interested in being one. After several exams, she unfairly earned B’s on the tests. I guess she was poor at copying, too. The next exam I was prepared for her. I freely opened up my answer key to her and randomly selected answers. After she scribbled down the results and turned in the exam, I erased the bogus answers and went on my merry way of answering the questions. I am a darn good guesser for she scored a 50%. She never earned a B in a test again. I cured her of copying off of me.

My sons are inexperienced with multiple choice exams. Standardized testing has them as does the SAT and ACT. There are a few on some of the exams they take. They are not versed on how to tackle these type of questions. My belief has been if you know how to do the problem you don’t need a method of tackling these problems. Guess I was wrong.

Youth 1 has encountered the world of multiple choice questions at the university. These questions kill him every time. A grade of A can drop to a B or C very quickly if you miss these questions. If you miss a multiple choice question, you lose all of the points. This is different than questions that require you to show work and thus give you the opportunity to earn a few points.

Multiple choice questions at large universities are quite common. When you have upwards of 160 students in a class it is easier to do a multiple choice exam. To make matters worse, most professors know where the majority of mistakes are made and put a wrong answer based on the mistake as one of the options.

This is one area you should consider working with your child. I ignored this for years never thinking about the need to be able to tackle multiple choice questions. I guess my solution is to have Youth 2 understand how to solve the problem and ignore the results until he is finished. There are times where you will need to guess. At these points you need to be able to eliminate several of the answers without much thought. What is the answer other than to know the subject.

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