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5 Tips for Conquering Multiple Choice Exams for the NBEO

Posted by Amanda Dexter on November 18, 2018 at 8:44 PM
Amanda Dexter
Dr. Amanda K. Dexter received her optometric training at Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California, where she was Class of 2010 Valedictorian. She also completed a residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at the Veteran's Affairs Hospital in San Diego, California. Dr. Dexter is the Manager and Program Coordinator for OptoPrep, the premiere online study resource for the NBEO Part I & II.


With NBEO Part 2 coming up quickly, and Part 1 shortly thereafter, we've come up with some quick tips to keep in mind to help you conquer multiple choice exams.

1. Read the ENTIRE question

Take the time to read the multiple choice question thoroughly and in its entirety before attempting to answer the question. Students will often start to read a part of the question and assume they know what the question is asking before fully reading it, and will then jump straight into the answer portion. There may be a key word or phrase that you miss that could completely steer you in the wrong direction; this could be a huge mistake that can cost you dearly. Take your time to read the entire question (and make sure you fully understand what it is asking) before you even start with the answer options.

2. Answer the question in your MIND first

After your fully read the question, try to answer the question in your mind first before even looking at the answer options. This will help prevent you from getting caught up with distractors that can cause you to talk yourself out of the correct answer.

3. Use the process of elimination

If you aren't confident in your answer, start by eliminating the answers that you are sure are 100% incorrect. Then, by using the process of elimination, cross out less likely options and focus on the remaining answers. This strategy not only helps you save time, but increases the likelihood of selecting the correct answer.

4. Select the BEST answer

Some questions may seem like there are multiple answers that could potentially be correct; however, there is typically a best answer that the NBEO is looking for. Some question will even say "Which of the following BEST describes..." or "Which of the following is MOST likely..." So, again, read the question and answer options thoroughly and select the best answer to the question being asked, not just any answer (or the first answer) that may seem correct.

5. Sometimes you leave it up to chance

There will be questions on the exam that you honestly have no clue on. After you've eliminated answers you know are obviously incorrect, sometimes you just have to through up your hands and leave it to chance. Take your best educated guess. Remember that incorrect answers on NBEO exams do not count against you, so no matter what, make sure you mark an answer for EVERY. SINGLE. QUESTION.

Good luck!

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Topics: NBEO, NBEO Part I, NBEO Part II

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