Tips for Short Answer Exams
By Natalie Umberger
A teacher's primary purpose in giving a short-answer test is to test whether you have a foundation of knowing the material, usually factual.
Prepare for the test
- Develop summary sheets of the course material information.
- Focus on key words, events, vocabulary, concepts.
- Organize and categorize the material, then review.
When taking the test
- Respond directly to the question or directive. Focus on keywords and ideas called for and eliminate those that do not directly address the information requested in the test item.
- Respond and write concise answers. Connect key facts into short sentences according to the test instructions.
- If you can think of several answers let the instructor know. The instructor may give you a clue to the correct answer he/she's looking for.
- A guess made with common sense could get you more test points than if you leave an answer blank.
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