Test Preparations

Answering Multiple Choice Questions

DO’S

STUDY THE INFORMATION FOR THE TEST CAREFULLY
Adequate preparation is the best tool for responding to such form of questions. You should know all of the topic’s key terms and concepts. This will aid your efficiency in working through the test quickly and answering correctly.

READ THE ENTIRE QUESTION
A student may think they know what the question is asking and will provide the answer before properly reading the question. However, you should read it carefully before reviewing all the answer options.

REJECT ERRONEOUS ANSWERS Disregard response choices that you are 100 percent sure are wrong before selecting the answer you think is possibly correct. This significantly increases your chances of picking the right answer.

ANSWER THE QUESTIONS YOU KNOW FIRST
Read through all the questions and respond first to those for which you know the answer. Then return and do those you have trouble answering.

TAKE NOTICE OF THESE WORDS
Pay close attention to the words ‘not’, ‘sometimes’, ‘always’, and ‘never’. If you can find one counter-example, then the answer is wrong. A counter-example is an example that contradicts an idea. Check out the illustrations as follows:

  • An option that says ‘Christians always go to heaven when they die’ is definitely a wrong answer because Christians do not always go to heaven. This answer is refutable; hence it is incorrect.
  • An option that says ‘People who commit mortal sin should sometimes confess’ is likewise erroneous since people who do commit mortal sins should always confess.

DON’TS

DO NOT MAKE A WILD GUESS
Don’t rely on the myth that ‘C’ is the most commonly used position for the answer in a multiple choice quiz. At TTA, it won’t save you! Rather, think and try to select your answer rationally and logically. Be on the lookout for longer options, grammatically correct choices, or “all-or-none” of the above selections.

DO NOT SELECT AN ANSWER AT ONCE
Re-read every option because you need to understand each of them before deciding which one id right. In your mind, reason out why this choice is more likely to be correct, or which choice is more likely to be incorrect.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME
Being stuck at complex and lengthy questions will consume a significant amount of your time. Leave these for the last, after answering all the easy and simple questions.

WRITING GOOD ESSAYS

DO’S

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOPIC
Be sure to write about something that interests you, or something that you find easy to work on. Make sure it is relevant to your subject or the guiding questions given to you. Choosing topics that are too hard, too broad, or too unmanageable will likely reduce your chances of producing an outstanding essay.

CREATE AN OUTLINE OF YOUR IDEAS
Write down the key points that you will most certainly use in your essay. Your essay will be more powerful if you put the most important points at the beginning, working your way down to the least important at the end. Don’t forget to write a draft first on paper so you can connect and link your ideas more clearly. This way, you will be able to re-arrange the ideas in the best way for greater effectiveness.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Your audience may be an examiner, or your professor, or whoever is supposed to read your essay. Always keep in mind that a “good” essay for you, may not be enough for them. You need to pay careful attention to the requirements or criteria they have set for you. Follow all their guidelines – the questions to answer, the key points to include, the required number of words, the format of the assignment and any other requirement. To help you do this, underline the key words in the assignment and make sure you understand what they mean. By doing all this, should be sure that your output fits the task and the required standards.

WRITE A POWERFUL THESIS STATEMENT
Your thesis statement tells the reader the main argument of your essay. Take a look at your outline and point out the main idea that you will be talking about. For example, if your topic is Christianity as a unique religion, a thesis statement could be, “Christianity is the a unique religion for three main reasons.”

CREATE AN INTERESTING INTRODUCTION
You have to get the attention of your reader through the first few sentences of your essay. These sentences will give your reader an impression of your style and where your essay will take them. Be sure to start strong and follow through even stronger.

COME UP WITH AN INFORMATION-FILLED BODY
Now that you’ve got the interest of your reader, this is where you’ll have the chance to explain further and more fully the ideas you pointed out in the introduction. Be sure that you include a thorough discussion of each of your main points regarding the chosen topic. These points must be clearly defined, relevant to the topic, supported by your arguments, and flow smoothly and logically.

END WITH A PREVAILING CONCLUSION
It is right and proper to end your essay by reiterating your points discussed and summarizing your main ideas. In just a few paragraphs, a great conclusion provides an idea of what your essay is all about.

ENSURE THAT IT HAS THE QUALITIES OF A GOOD ESSAY
A good essay has a clear central idea and develops through supporting details that further expand the idea in the paper. It should have unity, coherence, logic, and correctness. Moreover, it should have a strong contention, supported by concepts, arguments, and evidence.

DON’TS

DO NOT BE TOO GENERAL
This is a common mistake of students when asked to write essays. Avoid reviewing a subject widely as you may fail to address the main points of your essay. Being too general will make your essay sound vague, and could probably lead to failure to answer the question you were asked.

DO NOT USE SLANG WORDING
You must remember that this is academic writing, and using non-standard English is unacceptable. This will lessen the quality of your work and the overall impression of your essay. Your essay will sound more formal if you do not use slang or abbreviated words.

DO NOT TRY TOO HARD TO SOUND ACADEMIC
You do not need to use complicated sentence structures or long words just to make your paper sound academic. Always make sure that you use the terminologies in the right way so as to not to confuse your readers or audience.

DO NOT OVERUSE QUOTES
The essay is supposed to reflect your understanding of the topic and the research you’ve done to back up your argument. An overuse of quotes, either from the work you’re analyzing or from the research you’ve done, undermines your authority on the topic.

DO NOT SUBMIT IMMEDIATELY AFTER WRITING THE CONCLUSION
Edit and proofread your work. Always re-read your paper and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure that the sentence flow is smooth, and that you have used phrases to help connect the ideas. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes as well.

DO NOT PLAGIARIZE
Re-phrasing text that has been copied and pasted does not equate to an original work. We are taking this seriously and it is very easy to get caught. Your essay should contain your own original thesis, analysis, and ideas, backed up by credible research from academic authorities. If you are using another person’s idea, be sure to acknowledge the source and make proper references in the text and in a bibliography or reference list at the end of the paper. Use one of the many online resources to check your work for plagiarism.

TIPS FOR WRITING A 750-WORD ESSAY

BE PRECISE IN YOUR PLANNING
You need to be concise and exact about the focus of your essay. With limited room to elaborate, ensure that you include all the important information that is required.

RE-READ WHEN NEEDED
Make sure to re-read your book as well as the question which your essay needs to answer. With this, you can be sure that your outline really depicts the idea you want to express.

DIVIDE THE ESSAY INTO SECTIONS BASED ON THE SET NUMBER OF WORDS REQUIRED
This would allow you to put emphasis on only what is important for addressing each part of your topic. You can use or modify the following, according to your need. Introduction – 100 words (13.5%) Body – 550 words (73%) Conclusion – 100 words (13.5%)

USE TRANSITION WORDS
To improve the flow of the sentences within and between paragraphs, use words like ‘moreover’, ‘however’, ‘additionally’, ‘on the other hand’, ‘conversely’, etc. This will enhance your essay quality and let the reader see the connections between one set of ideas and the next.

TIPS FOR WRITING A 1500-TO-3000-WORD ESSAY

MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY
It is not easy when you have to write a lengthy essay. Be definite and strict in your time allocated for writing the essay. Allow enough time to research the topic, to write a first draft, and to keep on revising this until you arrive at the final copy. Balance your time in accomplishing all the necessary steps.

FIND A GOOD ESSAY TEMPLATE Having a good example of an essay should assist you in planning and designing your own. So spend some time searching for a good sample text. However, remember not to copy someone else’s work!

DO PROPER RESEARCH Find all the necessary information you need to support and prove your argument. You cannot only use snippets of information. Use well researched studies and information from reliable sources, people and organizations.

CITE YOUR SOURCES ACCURATELY
This should be done to avoid plagiarism. When citing sources, you should use the Chicago style Manual Author-Date system which consists of two parts: in-text citation and the reference list.

  • An in-text citation provides your reader the last name of the author(s) used in the reference and the year that the work was published (Eg.: Gregor 2019).
  • On the other hand, the reference list provides the full details of the author, title, publisher and other relevant information for the items you have cited in the paper. Consult an online guide for the many details to provide when compiling the reference list and the format in which they must be written.

Check out these links to help you  more when writing these informative essays:

https://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/seven-essential-tips-for-writing-the-perfect-essay-9274810.html

https://www.lifehack.org/524393/factors-that-matter-when-writing-essay

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/essay-writing.html

On Citing Sources

https://libguides.williams.edu/citing/chicago-author-date