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Tips for True/False Exams

By Natalie Umberger

If you're facing a difficult true/false exam, try some of the following tips to help lessen your anxiety.

  • Every part of a true sentence must be "true":
    • If any one part of the sentence is false, the whole sentence is false despite many other true statements.

Pay close attention to:

  • Negatives, qualifiers, absolutes, and long strings of statements
  • Negatives can be confusing.
  • If the question contains negatives, as "no, not, cannot" drop the negative and read what remains.
  • Decide whether that sentence is true or false.
  • If it is true, its opposite, or negative, is usually false

Qualifiers are words that restrict or open up general statements:

  • Words like "sometimes, often, frequently, ordinarily, generally" open up the possibilities of making accurate statements.
  • They make more modest claims, are more likely to reflect reality, and usually indicate "true" answers.

Absolute words restrict possibilities:

  • "No, never, none, always, every, entirely, only"
  • Imply the statement must be true 100% of the time and usually indicate "false" answers

Long sentences often include groups of words set off by punctuation:

  • Pay attention to the "truth" of each of these phrases.
  • If one is false, it usually indicates a "false" answer

Guessing:

  • Often true/false tests contain more true answers than false answers.
  • You have more than 50% chance of being right with "true". However, your teacher may be the opposite.
  • Review pasts tests for patterns if you can.

Resource: www.studygs.net

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Tips for True/False Exams (pdf)