True-False Exam Strategies

True-False exams can be difficult if you do not know how to handle the questions. The following true-false exam strategies will help take the confusion out of those tricky questions: All students have had trouble correctly answering a true-false question, especially if that student has a mindset that makes them read and analyze every question. True False questions are common on College exams, High School tests and Armed Services Entrance Exams like the AFQT and ASVAB. This is not always good for true false questions, as over analyzing it can cause you to create a meaning that is not there.

Here are some tips and suggestions:

1. The first thing you need to do is watch for those little words that will tip you in the right direction. Certain keywords can make a seemingly true statement false and a false statement true. If you see the following keywords in your true-false statement, then the statement will probably be false:

- All
- Only
- Always
- Because

It is important to look out for keywords as stated above, especially if you are having a difficult time answering the question. On the other hand, there are keyword phrases that you can look for that will generally be found in a true statement.

- None
- Generally
-  Usually

2. It is also important to read each word in each statement carefully. As it is a true-false exam, there will be choices to throw you off. You should think about why the choices are an option and then break each one down into simple sentences to see the simple meaning of it. If each thought is true when you break the sentence down, you have the correct answer.

3. This next strategy is a great one and it is to not to add your own meanings to the true false statements, in other words, do not quibble. If you were come up with your own interpretation for the statements, you could be wrong. True-false statements are supposed to be only approximately true. This means that the exam questions revolve around what you heard in class or read in your books, nothing less, and nothing more. The only time this is the wrong thing to do is if you believe the question is worded badly and could be right and wrong, then you should write explain your choice of answer.

4. When all else fails, guess, unless, of course, you are being graded on how many questions you get right. One hint to keep in mind is that there are usually more true statements, which come right from the lecture or book, than false ones. If anything looks vaguely familiar, go with it.  More about guessing

5. Last, trust your instincts and stick with your first answer, it is usually true anyways. Unless you are 100% sure that you were wrong, never change your first answer.

Answering True False questions is very similar to Multiple Choice – See How to Answer Multiple Choice Part 1 & Part 2



About the Author

Brian has a BA in Economics, and an MA in Psychology. He lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has traveled widely and has written extensively on education, testing and tests.

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