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Common Exam Questions

Exam is a part and parcel of the studying process. Usually, many students are scared of their exams because they do not know what tasks they will need to undertake. However, in fact, there is nothing to fear. As a rule, exams include certain questions that you need to answer correctly. Therefore, if you study for the exams carefully, you will definitely pass them successfully.

We would like to acquaint you with the most common types of exam questions. This way, you will know what you can prepare for.

Questions Requiring Short Answers

Short answer questions presuppose that you will give short responses, varying from few words to few sentences. Oftentimes, the length of the answer is indicated near the very question.

When you have to reply to short answer questions, focus on the following:

  • Theories and concepts
  • Facts
  • Dates
  • Personalities
  • Terminology

When you do short answer questions:

  • Make sure to give succinct responses. Do not rewrite the question itself. You do not need to provide more information than required. Remember that the correctness rather than the length of your answer will be graded.
  • If you are not sure about the answer to some question, highlight that question in order to go back to it later.
  • Do your best to answer all the questions you are given.

Multiple-Choice Exam Questions

Usually, a multiple-choice question consists of the very question and the set of possible answers. Your task is to choose the correct answer among the listed options. Also, there are cases when the first part of the sentence (the stem) is given and you should continue it choosing the appropriate variant from the list provided.

When you prepare for multiple-choice questions, you should focus on:

  • Terminology
  • Concepts and theories
  • Facts
  • Personalities
  • Dates

When you do multiple-choice questions:

  • First, look through all questions and answers to them.
  • Then, do those questions the answers to which you know for sure.
  • Return to those questions which you have doubts about. Throw obviously wrong options away. Among the possible answers, choose the most suitable one.
  • Be careful with negatives (e.g., “Which quality is not appropriate for a leader?”).
  • Make sure to answer all questions within the deadline given.
  • Look through the answers you have chosen. If you doubt some answer, do not rush to change it. Most probably, your initial intuitive choice will be correct.

Note that you need to give answers to all questions even if you do not know the correct answer. In that case, you need to guess relying on logic or intuition. However, do not go overboard with guessing as it may lead you to failing the exam.

Essay Questions

Essay question presupposes that you will give an answer to the question in the form of an essay. The length of the answer depends on the complexity of the question at hand and can vary from one page to several pages. Usually, you should not use any sources, as your answer has to demonstrate the knowledge you have acquired during the course.

Things to consider when preparing for essay-type questions:

  • Try to come up with the possible essay questions. You can do it by looking through your previous exam papers as well as the assignments you have already done. In addition, check the control questions in your textbook.
  • Consider the structure your essay will have. This way, you will know the concrete elements your answer should consist of.
  • Have some practice: choose one of the questions you have prepared, plan the answer, and write it down within the allocated deadline.

When you answer an essay question, you need to:

  • Read your exam question several times. Is it clear? Do you understand what you need to do?
  • Use a brainstorming technique. Consider outlining the key points that you will further develop in your essay.
  • Start discussing each idea in detail. Support them with solid evidence and appropriate examples. Make sure you dedicate one paragraph to one idea.
  • Ensure smooth transitions so that your answer does not look fragmentary.
  • Proofread your work. Are you content with it? If something has to be changed, change it. If everything is fine, you can hand your work in.

When you are taking your exam, make sure you are to answer the question(s) within the imposed deadline. Do not devote too much time to one idea as you may not have enough time to cover the other ones. In addition, you will need some time to check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation as these issues may affect the quality of your work. What is more, they may be graded as well.

Computational (Problems) Questions

Computational questions suggest that you need to find a solution to some problem with the help of calculations.

When you should face this type of questions, do the following:

  • Review all the theories, terms, and formulas you have learned. Make sure you know how each formula is applied.
  • Determine possible questions by looking through your prevision exam works, course materials, etc.
  • Consider having some practice: choose few questions and find out how much time it takes you to answer them fully.

When you answer computational questions, you need to:

  • Read the questions thoroughly so that you understand what you are required to do.
  • When you realize what should be done, choose appropriate formulas that will be utilized to solve the issue.
  • Recheck everything you have written in order to make sure that you move in the right direction.
  • Prepare a diagram and/or drawing if applicable. Consider using a pencil for it as, this way, you will be able to correct a drawing if needed.
  • Make sure you label all the drawings you have added to your work.