Part one of the NYS Social Studies test is made up of 35 multiple choice    questions.  The purpose of this section of the test is to test your      knowledge of social studies and the world around you.

What is a multiple choice question? You have probably answered many questions of this type. Think about it and then let's compare our answers.

That's right, it is a question that lists possible answers and asks you to make a choice and select the correct one.

Multiple choice questions are many students favorite kind of question because they think that they are the easiest type of question to answer.  After all, the answer is right there on the page, so - how hard can that be?

You may be surprised to find out just how hard multiple choice questions can really be. You KNOW that the correct answer is there, but all of your choices may sound correct.  This is one of the things that makes a multiple choice question difficult to answer.

How can you be sure of selecting the correct answer?

Relax, there is a very logical way to go about answering this very type of question.  Use the steps below each and every time that you answer a multiple choice question and you will find that you greatly increase your chance of getting questions that you are not 100% sure of - correct!

Let's look at some examples of multiple choice questions.  Even if you know the answer to the question right away, read through the whole lesson.  You might find that following these steps will help you to select the correct answer on other questions that you are not 100% sure of.

Step 1:  

READ the question carefully!  Many students rush through this part and end up not understanding what the question is really asking you to do.

READ!   READ!   READ!

Even though this is a timed test - you will waste more time  by not READING the question carefully.  This is VERY IMPORTANT!

Look at the question below.  Read it carefully.  What is it asking you to do? What are the most important parts of this question?

   

A main reason for the colonial rebellion against the British during the American Revolution was:

A. shortage of tea
B. religious freedom
C. absence of British soldiers
D. taxation without representation

What did the question ask you to find? Look at it again.
   

A main reason for the colonial rebellion against the British during the American Revolution was:

A. shortage of tea
B. religious freedom
C. absence of British soldiers
D. taxation without representation

 

  Look at the section that is highlighted in yellow - the words "main reason".  The question is not asking you to name just any reason - it wants you to name a MAIN reason.  It is letting you know that the answer to the question will be a BIG idea.

Next, look at the section that is highlighted in pink - the words "colonial rebellion against the British"  This part of the question is asking you what?  
The main reason for what?  The main reason for the colonial rebellion against the British.

The last highlighted section, the section in blue, is the 'when' part of the question.  When did this take place?
It took place during the American Revolution. 

This question is asking you to find a (big idea) main reason for (what) the colonial rebellion against the British (when) during the American Revolution.

   
Step 2  
  Now that we understand what the question is asking us, let's look at the answers.
It is important to READ ALL OF THE CHOICES that are given before selecting the correct answer.  
   

A. shortage of tea
B. religious freedom
C. absence of British soldiers
D. taxation without representation

Step 3

Did you see any answers that you knew were WRONG? 

A. shortage of tea
B. religious freedom
(many colonists came to the colonies for the purpose of religious freedom)
C. absence of British soldiers
(British soldiers were stationed in the colonies and Great Britain wanted colonists to pay for having them there -the Quartering Act, the Stamp Act)

D. taxation without representation

 
Good, let's just get rid of them first.  By eliminating choices you KNOW are wrong right away, you will give yourself fewer choices to select your answer from.

A. shortage of tea

D. taxation without representation

Now we are only looking at two choices. (If you have ever watched the game show -  Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - this is just like the 50/50 lifeline!)

Step 4

Now look at your remaining two answers:

A. shortage of tea
Tea was available in the colonies, however the British Government imposed a tax on it, making it expensive for the colonists to purchase.  This answer is not completely correct and would not be your best choice.


D. taxation without representation
The British government imposed many taxes on the colonies, however, there were no representatives from the colonies in the British Parliament.  This angered many of the colonists and led many to demand that if they were not to be represented, then they needed to break away and form their own government where their voices would be heard.  This is one of the main reasons for the American Revolution.  It is a big idea.  It is the correct answer to the question.

Great job! Now let's just take a minute to review.

Step 1
READ the whole question. Take a minute to understand what the question is asking you to find.
Step 2
READ all of the choices
Step 3
Eliminate all of the choices you know are WRONG.
Step 4
Look at your remaining answers and make a choice.  

Great! Now that you know HOW to answer multiple choice questions go to Part I - multiple choice questions and try the practice pages.  These questions are similar to the ones that were on the Social Studies test.

 

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