The Secret of the Great Test Answers and Questions

Almost every time a student answering question is trying to come up with a better option for exam questions and answers, they are most probably going to fail. And not because their knowledge is not sufficient, rather they do not understand the idea behind each type of exam questions. Remember yourself during your last test. We bet that almost every time you were looking at your instructor with a silent question "can you answer a question for me" in your head? Let help you and explain how to succeed in the upcoming exam.


Different Exam Formats

Among the great variety of the assessment professor and instructors of both traditional and online education can come with, there few most common types of the exams. First, your exam can be either oral or written, seen or unseen (depending on whether you had a chance to get acquainted with the list of the questions) and open vs close book tests (some professors will let you take notes and//or books into the exam).

SEE ALSO: "Answers Questions"

According to the Stanford University research on timed vs untimed assessment formats, the difference of results is insufficient, though, the stress levels difference is significant. If you are lucky enough to get away with the untimed exam or the test you can take at home and then submit in the class, you are more luckily to succeed with the lower rate of the failure probability. If you have to pass on online test assessment or an in-class test, there are few things you need to do before you begin to answer the very first question of the test:

  • look through the test to learn how many questions of you have in general;
  • count the number of open-end questions and try to devote more time to work on them;
  • plan your time according to the amount of work you will have to do;
  • if allowed, set a timer to help you keep track of time.

Generally, a timed version of the exam will consist of 35-50 questions of different types, whereas an untimed exam by the end of the course could mean up to 250 questions of all types. So, let us focus on different types of exam question answer, along with some useful tips on how to choose the best answer for each type.

Questions and Answers Example to Have a Look At

Different Types of Exam Question Answer

Multiple Choice Questions

This is one of the most common types of the exam questions and it requires you to choose an answer from the list of 3 to 5 options. Sometimes, you can choose the answers like "nothing from the above" or "everything mentioned above". Some professors will also give you an additional twist by offering 5 options, and saying "the answers b and c are correct" or "the a and c options are false". This may seem confusing; however, you have to read the questions first without paying attention to the answers. If you are not completely sure about the correct option, start with eliminating obviously wrong answers. This type of questions often refers to dates, definitions and key features of the phenomena.

Fill In the Gaps

One of the most commonly used questions in languages and humanities tests. You will either have to choose the word from the options in the box or come up with your own answer, depending on the context and topic. This type requires basic knowledge of the information and or/language patterns. The typical example of fill in the gaps questions would be English test on verbs and required prepositions.

True or False

If you have faced the question like this, make sure to read the statement carefully and pay attention to the order of answers (some professors switch places of "true" and "false" options to check whether you are attentive") as well as any absolutes (e.g. everything, all, never), qualifiers (such as better, worse, easier) and long parts of the task.


One of the most hated types of questions, when you have to change the structure of the first sentence so it would have the meaning of the seeding one. Most often can be found in English tests or any language studies. If you are allowed, try to use Thesaurus to help you find the synonyms. Do not forget to pay attention to negations and contractions, and re-read the sentence you have written.

Connect or Match

One of the easiest types of questions, as you have to either match one-half of the sentence to another, connect the notion with its definition or similar/opposite things depending on the task. The most tricky thing that can happen to you while dealing with connecting, is having too many things to match in one question. Make sure you begin with some obvious choices and find support for the less clear options.

Open-End Questions

Moving to more complicated types of questions, we have to cover open end questions. Read it carefully, evaluate the amount of information required and your knowledge of the subject. If you have to provide a shorter answer, feel free to reword the things you have learned. If the word count is longer (for example 150-200 words) you may provide an elaborate answer, yet avoid quoting the textbook word by words, as you may be blamed for cheating.

Correct the Mistakes

This type of assignment may be the most daunting, as you can never know what type of mistake was made. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, mistakes in logic or terminology. Some professors tend to overuse this type of questions in their assessments, so prior to answering the test, plan your time to have a couple of extra minutes for this task.

Write the Question for This Answer

One of the most complicated and perplex questions as you have to remember major definitions, dates and the correlation between the events/concepts. If you find this type of question in your test, make sure to read the answer and try to sketch your questions. Do not let yourself get stuck on one question, though let it sit and return after you have completed all other questions.

Questions and Answers Essay

In extremely rare cases, you may be asked to write a short essay answer to the given question. The major difference is the fact you do not have to write an introduction, however, a good thesis statement might help, if you are asked to provide a personal opinion on the subject.

As you may see from everything mentioned above, the main rich about the test taking is the need to be extremely focused and have a great knowledge of the subject.

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