Multiple Choice Midterms/Exams

As midterms are here and finals are quickly creeping up, the stress of studying increases for everyone. I am a second year business student so a lot of my midterms are multiple choice, which I hate. For me multiple choice is the worst way for me to be tested as I always second guess myself and overthink the choices. Multiple choice tests always stress me out and I worry about them a lot. I find that there are lots of other students that I talk to that think multiple choice is difficult too, so I came up with some tips to answering multiple choice;

  • Read the question before you look at the answer.
  • Come up with the answer in your head before looking at the possible answers, this way the choices given on the test won’t throw you off or trick you.
  • Eliminate answers you know aren’t right.
  • Read all the choices before choosing your answer.
  • If there is no guessing penalty, always take an educated guess and select an answer.
  • Don’t keep on changing your answer, usually your first choice is the right one, unless you misread the question.
  • In “All of the above” and “None of the above” choices, if you are certain one of the statements is true don’t choose “None of the above” or one of the statements are false don’t choose “All of the above”.
  • In a question with an “All of the above” choice, if you see that at least two correct statements, then “All of the above” is probably the answer.
  • A positive choice is more likely to be true than a negative one.
  • Usually the correct answer is the choice with the most information.

These are the best tips for multiple choice questions. Most importantly, if you don’t do as good as you thought you would on the test don’t stress about it. Grades are important but they aren’t the only thing that matters. I used to get so worked up and stressed if I got a mark below a 70, but now I know that if I do get a low mark, I know that I need to study even harder for the next one. As long as you’re trying and working hard and studying, the grades you’re aiming for will come. Remember that if you are having problems with understanding concepts, we have a lot of great resources at our school that can help! PASS sessions, peer tutors, teacher office hours and more!

Study hard this midterm/exam season and remember these tips when writing multiple choice tests! Work hard and the outcome you’re aiming for will happen!

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Program Uncertainty

Being a first year student can bring lots of stress and uncertainty as you adapt to your new life at university. Everything is different and new to you. New people, new classes, new professors, new ways of learning. It’s hard at first to take everything in, trying to adapt to the new and exciting life that university has to offer. First semester begins and the school work can add up quickly as you try to juggle friends, sports, clubs, activities, family and any other functions.

My first year of university I was in health sciences. I thought that this would be the right program for me as I am very into sports and being active, so my original plan was to become a physio therapist. My first week of classes was quite easy as it was review from high school and I figured that I would actually do pretty decent in my classes. However the third week of school was quite a shock to me. Suddenly I couldn’t keep up in classes and was so unsure of the concepts being taught. I tried so hard in class to focus and take notes but it didn’t seem to help. I dreaded going to class and hated the material that was being taught. However, I figured it was just because I was a first year student and wasn’t used to the work load that university has to bring along with the content. I toughed through it and continued to hate school. Midterm season came around and I did everything I could to try and grasp the tricky concepts that were taught. I went to PASS sessions, office hours for the profs, got a tutor and spent a lot of my time studying and doing homework. I wouldn’t sleep much as I stayed up studying every night and wouldn’t be able to sleep because I was so nervous for midterms. I was the most stressed I have ever been in my life. After I did everything possible to understand and prepare for midterms, the week of midterms began. I wrote 5 midterms and felt confident coming out of them. However, once I received my marks I was so devastated. I failed 3 midterms and barley passed the other 2. I wasn’t as devastated about the marks but at the fact that I spent so much time working towards something that was not working for me and that I hated. No matter how hard I studied and went to additional help, I couldn’t understand what I was learning. I hated every class and hated being there. I decided it was time to call my parents and have a conversation about changing programs.

I originally was looking at school for business when I was in grade 12 as I was always good at it and enjoyed it. However I was unsure of what I wanted to do when I applied to university in grade 12 as most people are, so I applied to a variety of programs. Even though I was best in business and enjoyed it, I figured that the health sciences route was the way I wanted to go. Looking back now I wish I would have stuck to my gut and went the business route, but everything is a learning experience. So when I called my parents just after my first set of midterms I told them how much I hated the classes I was in, was doing terrible and was not interested in the subjects at all. I could not see myself in that program for the next four years. I told them how stressed I was because I was doing so bad academically in school and felt stupid for not understanding how to do anything that was being taught. I didn’t want to say anything at first about my stress and how upset I was because I assumed most first year students felt the same and it was just because of the adjustment. As soon as I told them though I felt so much better and was glad that they offered me help.

I knew that health sciences was not the best option for me and wanted to change programs. I was embarrassed to tell people that I wanted to change programs because I felt like it made me sound stupid and insecure. I didn’t want people to think that I changed programs because I wasn’t smart enough to be in the program or think that I failed out. I hated the program, the classes, and could never understand the concepts. It was definitely something that I could not spend the next four years studying so I knew that I was making the right choice. I ended up dropping two classes and kept the three that would transfer over to my new program. Come January I started in business and it was so much better for me. I loved the classes, understood the concepts and just really enjoyed what I was learning. It’s not that business is easier than health sciences, it’s just different and something that I enjoy way more. I am so thankful that I switched programs when I did and didn’t try to stick with it in a program I hated.

The moral of the story is, lots of people go to school and decide that the program they are in is not the right choice for them. It is nothing to be embarrassed or insecure about. If you’re not in a program that you enjoy and cannot see yourself in it in the future, then switching programs could be in your best interest. There are so many different career choices and programs to go into so it’s hard to know which you would like best. Sometimes once you get into the program you realize that it isn’t right you and need to change, that’s okay! It’s better to change programs than to be in one that you hate and that causes you a lot of stress. Looking back at my experience now, I realize how glad I am that I changed programs, as I am much happier and like my program so much better! Everything is a learning experience however, so don’t regret switching programs as it shows you which field is not the best for you and which is!