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College Test Mania

Sometimes how you perform on a midterm or other college test depends more on the type of exam you'll be getting than on the actual material, says Brian Marshall, author of The Secrets of Getting Better Grades (JIST Publishing Inc., 2002). "Different types of test questions require you to use different skills," he says. Here's a breakdown of the different types of test questions and what to expect on your next college test:

These types of questions on college exams are testing your exact knowledge of facts. Watch out for word like "never," "all," and "most."

Multiple Choice:
Multiple choice questions test your ability to recognize the right answer. Try answering the question without the choices; then, eliminate wrong choices.

Short Answer:
Short answer questions on college tests test your ability to analyze and think critically. Answer as directly as possible (hopefully your memory will kick in).

Essay Questions:
College exams with essay questions are testing your memory on key facts and terms. Don't just spew facts. Put some thought into your essay, and be sure you answer the actual question.