You are here

Resources on successfully taking different types of exams

Multiple choice exams

Multiple Choice Exam Strategies
SFU handout with preparation and writing tips.

Multiple Choice Exams (University of Guelph)
Preparation and writing strategies, as well as challenges of this format.

True/false exams

Test Strategies for Objective Tests (Utah State University)
Good information on True/ False strategies.  Also discusses multiple choice and includes a practice test.

Fill in the blank tests

Fill in the blank tests (
How to prepare for these tests by creating practice questions.

Another source on fill in the blank tests suggest that if you can't think of the specific term required, at least fill in the blank with a description, and you might be given partial credit.

Essay and short answer exams

Strategies for Essay Exams
SFU handout with preparation and writing tips.

Short Answer and Essay Exams (University of Guelph)
Writing and preparation tips for both formats.

Writing tips: In-Class Essay Exams (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Writing Tips: Standardized Test Essay Exams (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
These will help with the essay section of tests such as the MCAT or LSAT but many of the tips are also applicable to essay questions on university exams.

Quantitative/problem solving exams

A Better Approach to Quantitative Courses - Test Preparation
SFU handout

Exam Preparation: Strategies for Success in Mathematics Courses and Other Q-Courses
Slides from a workshop presented by Dr. Malgorzata Dubiel and Dr. Jamie Mulholland of the Department of Mathematics. Contains the "Magic Key" and step-by-step preparation instructions for quantitative exams.

Problem Solving Exams (University of Guelph)
Tips on preparation, writing and analyzing the exam afterwards.

Math Test-Taking Skills (Pima Community College)
These 15 tips cover both exam preparation and exam writing for problem-solving courses.

Math Study Skills: Math Tests (Mission College)
Tips on preparing for problem-solving tests, doing well on those tests, reviewing returned tests, test anxiety, and the final exam.

Lab exams

Succeed at Exams:  Lab Exams - Start Here (University of Guelph)

Succeed at Exams: Bell-ringer Exams - Start Here (University of Guelph)

Open book and take home exams

Strategies for Open Book Exams
SFU handout on what to expect, how to prepare, and what to keep in mind when writing these exams.

Open Book and Take Home Exams (University of New South Wales)
Includes myths about these types of exams, as well as preparation and writing tips.  The information is spread over 3 pages, so make sure you click the link at the bottom of the first page for "Doing well on open book exams" and at the bottom of the second page for "Sitting the Exam".

Open Book Exams (University of St. Thomas)
Tips on preparation, what to bring in, and organizing materials.

Oral exams

Oral Exams (University of St. Thomas)
Tips on preparation, test-taking, and follow-up.

More information on exams: