Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

WAC/Health Sciences

Tips on How to Take Multiple Choice Exams

Techniques to use during class:

Many times students will attend class simply because it is required, but are mentally "checked-out" during lecture.  Looking at the clock, passively watching the professor, and waiting anxiously to be dismissed keep you from maximizing the study potential of class-time.  Attending a three-hour class can be as helpful, and in many cases more helpful, than studying for an exam on your own for the same amount of time.  Staying active and participating in class can greatly improve your chances of doing well on exams and assignments.


  • Always make sure you know exactly what is being discussed

    • the specific chapters being covered
    • knowledge or terms you will be responsible for
    • additional concepts or skills required by the professor

  • Understand the reason/rationale for a treatment or intervention


  • Understand what is most important

    • Visual aids can be clues about areas your professor wants to emphasize
    • Note terms or concepts your professor repeats or reiterates


  • It's your dime and your time

    • Never leave class with unanswered questions.  Even if you feel uncomfortable asking all the questions you may have, you have paid good money and time to attend school and you should never leave a class more confused than when you entered.  Plus, you are never the only student with questions; you just may be the only person brave enough to ask.
    • Sit in the front row.  Don't give yourself the opportunity to "space out" or send text messages while seated in the back row. 
    • Be an active listener.  Make eye contact with the professor.  Nod your head and force yourself to take notes throughout the entire class.  Not only will your retention and note-taking improve, your professors always appreciate having an engaged "audience" and they will be grateful for your interest in the lecture.


  • Take careful notes


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