What are the strategies to solve MCQs effectively & fast?

Proper understanding of the essential methods to approach any exam is imperative for all students. You will end up regretting why you haven’t solved those simple questions. The better you plan for your exam, the more you will score.

- Before the exam

  • Understanding the topic: It is always best to revise the whole chapter before any exam, but when time is not in your favor, it is then important to at least read the headlines of the questioned chapter. This method will familiarize your brain with medical terminologies and boost your confidence.


  • Practice tests: Practicing multiple-choice questions before the exam is a perfect method to test yourself and prepare better. Find out your weak areas and read more about it.


  • Enough sleep: Many students tend to stay up all night revising and not sleep at all before the exam. However, this technique has shown poor results compared to students who had enough sleep the night before their exam. It is recommended that your body rests for at least 6 hours before the exam.


  • Nutrition: Time passes quickly, and so does meal times. It is vital that you supply your body with a healthy diet throughout your study days. Studies have shown that a good healthy diet can enhance brain activity and self-esteem. 

- During the exam

  • Time management: Time is your currency. Your first and most important step during an exam is managing your time by giving each MCQ a certain amount of time and not exceed it. For example, an exam of 30 MCQs in 1 hour means each MCQ should not exceed more than 2 minutes. It is important to mention that if you are the type of person that likes to revise the whole exam over again prior to submission then you may have to consider shrinking the time to half per question.


  • The sequence: Follow the same order of the exam. Jumping between questions may result in forgetting or cause disruption in your ideas. You will end up answering all the questions so might as well choose an answer and tick that question to be revised later if time permits. Do not leave a question unanswered.


  • Read the whole question and all the answers: Some examiners enjoy throwing some traps in their questions, by providing a hint to the answer at the end of the question. Therefore, do not jump to conclusions, reading the whole question, and taking your designated time will surely give you better results.


  • Simple Elimination: Probability is the highest chance of occurrence of an event. If an MCQs have four options that mean, if you tick any of the options then there is a 25% probability that the MCQs will be correct. But Aamir, how to increase this probability? The trick is simple, we will use the elimination technique here. In Elimination technique, we remove those who are not required or unnecessary, in the Case of MCQs you have to eliminate those options that you think is not the right option for the answer. Now, if you tick on any option that will mean you will have a probability of 50% that the option you have tick will be correct.


  • Rule of "all of the above": The majority of dental exams contain this option as one of the answers, and if by all means, you have no clue what the question is referring to, then it is advised to select this answer.


  • Rule of "None of the above": From our experience in researching dental exams, it was noted that this answer is least selected, and was majorly shown to be selected in British tests. Based on that, if you are not sure what the question is referring to, then it is advised NOT to select this answer.


  • The most scientific answer: This specific technique will help you solve many questions even outside the field of dentistry. When all of the previous steps were not applicable, and you are not sure of what the question is about, go for the most scientific answer. They are usually the longest answers and contain more sophisticated explanation.