Tricky Exam Questions — How to Answer as a Pro?

This article contains proven tips on exam answers for tricky exam questions.

We probably know all the rules and tips there are to studying effectively in order to pass exams; start studying early, review thoroughly, use your teacher’s study guide, create your own study guide, attend the review class, join a study group, and rest well prior to the exam.

But, it doesn’t matter how hard you study and stick to all the exam preparation rules, you will always come across some questions that are quite tricky and prove more difficult as a result. But the good news is, you can leverage the strategies and helpful tips in this post to tackle such exam questions. Keep reading to learn more.

Mark the Keywords in the Question

One of the ways to approach tricky exam questions like a pro is to circle or mark the keywords in such question. The essence is to aid you concentrate on the major idea intended by the instructor or examiner. You should look out for a familiar vocabulary or phrases in the question and mark them.

Consider Starting with Less Tricky Questions

Instead of spending all the time on a hard or twisted exam question, consider starting with easier or less tricky ones. This way, you won’t lose the confidence you’ve built for the examination. It’s also a great way of “priming” your brain for the tricky question.

Read the Question Over and Again

One of the best ways to unravel tricky questions is to read it over and again. At the first instance, you may not understand the question at all. At the second instance, you will start gaining insight on the direction the question is geared towards. By the time you read it the third time, you will discover that you have better clarity on what the instructor or examiner is saying in the question.

Phrase the Question in Your own Words

If an exam question proves difficult or tricky, try rephrasing it in your own words. This can help provide a clearer view of what the question is all about. However, there’s always this risk of altering the question in the course of trying to rephrase it. So, be careful not to change the question when trying to rephrase with your own words.

Provide Answers Based on Your Teacher’s Point of View

Whether they are comp exam questions or other subjects’ questions, one of the helpful ways to approach twisted questions is to write answers from your tutor’s perspective or point of view.

Think of what the instructor or examiner would rather prefer as answer or response to the question. This should be inspired by the teacher’s point of view on the subject matter of the question, especially his emphasis on the subject matter during classes.

Concentrate on the Most Familiar Parts of the Questions

For essay exam questions, it is best to concentrate on the parts or phrases of the question that ring bell to you. In essence, provide detailed and profound answers to the familiar part of the question and visit the real tricky part afterwards. In fact, you may gain better understanding on the tricky part by the time you’re done tackling the aspect you’re familiar with.

Come Up with Your Own Answer

This is most applicable to multiple-choice questions. Once you’re done reading the questions, use your own words to come up with answers prior to looking at the options provided. Subsequently, go back and pinpoint the most relevant option based on the answer you came up with.

Consider Going for Answers with Qualifying Words

This is most applicable to True or False questions. For such questions, you should consider answers that feature qualifying phrases or words. The qualifying words would include sometimes, usually, probably, may apply, a majority of, some, and seldom.

Examples of Tricky Exam Questions and their Answers

· Question (History): “What was Martin Luther King Jr’s father’s name?”

Answer: Martin Luther King, Sr.

· Question (Animal Science): “What species IS the most endangered in the world?”

Answer Clue: Notice that the emphasis is on ‘is’ (singular), and not on ‘species’. In this case, forget about other top endangered species and provide your answer to be the Ivory-bill Wood Pecker, which is the most endangered.

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