ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Passing a Multiple Choice Math Test

Updated on May 30, 2012

Wether the test is a final exam in your Algebra class or a standarized test, such at the ACT, that effects your college choice, multiple choice Math tests can be intimidating and cause anxiety. Below are tips for use on the test day to help improve your performance on multiple choice math tests.

Pace Yourself

It is best to know how long each question should take so you know you will not run out of time. For example, if you know you there are 60 questions in 60 minutes, then you should spent at most one minute per question. Now, don't keep checking the clock or your watch, that is a time waster, just glance at the clock once in a while to make sure you are on the correct pace. If you are halfway through the test, for example, you should have have the test done.


Leave the Tough Questions for the End.

If you are finding a question tough and you are spending excessive time on that question, skip it! Take an educated guess. Mark down that guess and put a small mark next to the problem number on the scan-tron so you can remember to go back to it. Never leave an answer spot blank. This can cause errors. Scan-tron answers can become offset. You may notice in the future that you are answering question 35, for example, on scan tron number 33. Then you need to start from problem 1 to see where you made the mistake and lose vital time.

Don't Show Your Work

It has been drillled into students' heads to show all their work on a math test. Which is why many students may run out of time on multiple choice math tests. On these tests only the answer matters. Therefore if you can do steps in your head, you save time. For example, suppose you are working on a Algebra 2 problem involving systems of equations and you get to a point where you find out 2x - 5 = 7. This is a simple problem from Algebra 1 that you should have already mastered. Finding the value of x in your head is faster than solving on paper.

Be Extra Careful If Skipping Around

A recommendation is to try to do the easiest problems first. However you have to be extra careful if skipping around to avoid offset answers on your scan-tron.

Do Not Over Rely On Your Calculator

If you can, do all simple arithmetic in your head. It is much faster to figure out 7 + 8 = 15, for example, in your head than on a calculator. If you have strong or at least average computational skills, then you will have figured it out before you are done pressing the four buttons on the calculator.

A Word of Caution on Calculator Use

Because calculators follow Order of Operations, mistakes can be made due to incorrectly inputting your expression. For example -2^2 is not the same as (-2)^2. If you leave out the parenthesis, you will get an incorrect answer. If needed, use more parenthesis than necessary.

Take Educated Guesses

If unsure about an answer choice, take an educated guess. Rule out any options you know cannot be the answer and make a guess on the choices left. This increases your chances that you will get the question correct.

Work Backwords

If unsure of how to approach a problem, work backwards. Some examples of working backwards on math problems can be found here

http://www.studyzone.org/mtestprep/math8/g/workbackl.cfm


Plug and Chug

The last method is what my classmates referred as Plug and Chug. Basically, plug in the answers to the problem until you get one that works. To efficiently use plug and chug, always start with the middle answer. That way you may be rule out half the answer choices if that is not the correct answer. Plug in chug may be more time saving than actually doing the problem. Here is an example

Solve for x: 3(2x - 1) + 4 =  13
a) x = -1
b) x = 1
c) x = 2
d) x = 4


Because there is no exact middle choice, pick a choice close to the middle, for example choice B. If you plug in 1 for x, you find 3(2x - 1) + 4 equals 7, not 13. Because 7 is less than 13 and the coefficient of x, once the 3 is distributed, is positive, you know x must be a larger number. And so, besides ruling b out as a solution, you have also ruled out choice a.

Here is an example from geometry

Two sides of a triangle have length 5ft and 9ft.  What is a possible length for the third side
a) 4 ft
b) 10 ft
c) 14 ft
d) 20 ft


Remember that the lengths of the two smallest sides of a triangle must add up to a number that is greater than the length of third side.

Let's say you chose choice C, 14 ft. Because the smaller sides add up to 14, 14ft is too large for the length of the third side. Therefor not only has choice C been ruled out but also choice D.

If you are uncomfortable ruling out answer choices just plug in all possible answers until one works.

There are some instances where you cannot determine if the value you chose is too large or small. An example problem would be

Solve for x: -2x + 7 = 3x + 6


Relax

If you notice test anxiety is getting to you, put your pencil down, sit back, close your eyes, focus on your breath, and count you exhales up 5. You do not want to spend too much time meditating but you also do not want test anxiety causing mistakes.

What To Do If Your Answer is Not a Choice

If your answer is not a possible choice, then if you feel you have time, look over your work for any mistakes. Otherwise, take an educated guess and mark the problem to come back to later.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)