What’s Your Type? [Examination Explanation]

There are many types of majors available to college students, requiring different styles of learning and studying. Throughout these dividing factors there will always be a factor that links us all together; examinations. Reading textbooks, reviewing flashcards and studying notes are all in preparation for these tests. Exams are typically classified in one of four categories: true or false, multi-choice, short answer/define and essay/presentation. Many exam formats use a mix of the four, a single category or use them all! Let’s ‘examine’ all four types and pinpoint their pros and cons.

True or False

Answering the classic true or false questions can make a student feel like a gambler; especially if answering it correctly is really up to chance. You’re not only betting on a 50 percent chance of guessing it right, but your risking the actual point value of the question if you luck out! Another stake true or false questions present can be its very format by wording a true statement as false and a false statement as true. These wager-heavy questions truly test your knowledge, so studying the entire context of the subject is the key to hitting the jackpot.


Multi-choice questions are a common test format, giving visual answer options with the presented questions. The key to mastering multi-choice exams is simple mathematics. Though I have seen up to seven multi-choice options for a question in my college experiences, let’s focus on four. You have four options; subtract two by process of elimination. Divide the remaining answers into separate options before adding that recollection of knowledge from studying. Do this times the number of remaining answers and you’re all set, no calculator required! And remember, “all of the above” is not always the quick, right answer, trust me.

 Short Answer / Define 

Short answer and define sections let students give creative answers, giving many professors and instructors the opportunity to gauge in-depth understanding of the course work. For short answer sections keep it short and to the point. The best way to prepare for these sections is to memorize key points and build off them to create a coherent answer. This same rule applies to defining a word, phrase or event. If this is done in the classroom on paper, incorrectly spelled words will not be underlined in red for you so practice spelling, especially for those highly-technical terms.

Essay / Presentation

Essays written on your own time are typically graded more rigorously because professors and instructors expect that you used that time out of class to write a high-quality paper. Make sure to do research on recommended sites, because the sight of a non-cited essay that required it is not good at all. And easy enough, presentations that involving speaking to the class can be aced if practiced with family and friends for feedback. Here’s a reversing trick for mastering the two: For essays, reading them out loud helps find errors while reading a speech to yourself helps to memorize it; that way you can focus more on your audience and less on reading from a paper.

Every semester I have a mix of these exam options, and find that they all work well if studied right. With all that said, what’s your favorite type of exam and why?

Mario Adkins is a senior at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). When not drawing or playing his favorite video games, he can be found on campus facilitating programs and events as both a resident assistant and vice president of membership for GVSU’s OΔK Circle–a national leadership honor society. Follow him on Twitter @zerolocked.


27 thoughts on “What’s Your Type? [Examination Explanation]

  1. My favorite test style is Multi-choice…..its soooo easy its a yesy based of regconition..
    This give you a ooooo yea i remember is feeling Thumbs up for Multi-choice

    Ashley V.

  2. sasha kelly

    my favorit style is ture or false because there is a 50/50 chance and most of the time yhou can go with your gut feeling

  3. My favorite is multiple choice because usually you can pick out the nonsense choices, then use your knowledge to choose the correct answer from what’s left.

  4. Multiple Choice because it helps me narrow down my options, plus i believe it is better than true/fase because I always second guess myself on the 50/50 questions!

  5. Short Answer
    This is because even if you don’t completely know the answer you can elaborate on what you do know. Though you may not get all the points there is a good chance that the teacher will award you with half or even extra credit point because of your extensive knowledge of background information. [credit for B.S.ing = 😀 ]

  6. My favorite type of exam is a presentation because there is more than one way to go about doing it and I can add my own touch of creativeness to it. Also, I have more time to prepare what I am going to do for the presentation.

  7. Multiple Choice for sure! The truth is usually at least two of the answers are just dead wrong. Plus when you get to compare choices things just tend to click better. 🙂

  8. a tie between mulitple choice and short answer. i like having options but sometimes when i really know the subject i like to explain my answer and tell the teacher how much i studied and how well i know the material

  9. my favorite type of exam is multiple choice because then you can figure out the ones you already know that are false, and eliminate them while still having possible answer(s) that you know are right.

  10. my favorite is multi-choice because I can narrow it down and recognize the information instead of remember the information. With multi-choice, less studying is needed.

  11. Multi choice because if you know nothing you still have a shot of getting it right. T and F tricks you too much. Much easier if you don’t know the information.

  12. I prefer doing multiple choice tests/quizzes for multiple reasons. As stated, a good way to narrow down a multiple choice question is process of elimination. After eliminating two choices, you have a 50% chance of getting the correct answer.

  13. I like essay tests because I spend as much time on it and I feel I get a better chance at showing the professor what I actually know instead of drawing a blank on a multiple choce or short answer. 🙂

  14. My favorite has got to be multiple choice because i am able to narrow it down to just one. most of the time true and fulse is easy but it seems to be more difficult to me so i choose multiple choice over anything.

  15. I’m going against the grain here; I like essay/presentation style tests and quizzes. Sure essays are graded more harshly and take up free time, but I find I do my best work when I can lay out my ideas and opinions over several paragraphs.
    I also love presentation tests because I have no fear of crowds. I have been involved with theatre since I was in 5th grade and so I tend to shine when all eyes are on me and I get to explain my thoughts to an audience. Even when I don’t know too much about what I’m talking about, my presentations are usually so animated and interesting that I get more of my information across than someone who has a better understanding of the same information.

  16. I love multiple choice question because I trend to do better on those types of test..if schools only took that type of test I would love school


  18. Multiple choice! I can always eliminate at least two answers if I’m unsure, and then I can just make a good guess.

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