Teaching students True-False Test Taking Strategies can greatly improve their performance on quizzes and even standardized tests. True/False tests are popular, easy for teachers to create, and even found on standardized tests. Although many students prefer this type of test, questions can be tricky. Learning what to look for can improve students’ abilities to achieve higher scores on True/False tests.
This series of blog posts provides practical test-taking strategies beginning with Part 1 Multiple Choice Tests. Part 2 goes over True/False tests. Come back each week to learn about Matching, Fill in the Blanks, and Essay test-taking strategies.
To make the material student-friendly as well as more interesting, I have created a free Boom deck with alternating facts and questions. This game-like activity is sure to keep students engaged as they learn more about test-taking. You will find a link to the Boom deck at the bottom of this post.
The Boom Card Lesson Script
True-False Test Taking Strategies
True/False tests often include specific information. This type of test frequently includes:
When preparing for a True/False exam, review information in small segments. You will be able to retain the details better if you review notes frequently in short study sessions in place of one long cram session.
Look through the entire test before beginning. This will help you budget your time. If you have 30 questions and 30 minutes to complete the test, be aware that you can only average one minute per test question to complete the test in the given amount of time.
Write T for True and F for False.
___F___ The best way to study for a true/false test is to cram the night before.
___T___ True/false tests often contain details.
___F___ Since the average learner can complete 3 to 4 true/false questions in a minute, the test taker doesn’t need to worry about timing a true/false test.
Types of True/False Tests
Read the directions carefully. Sometimes True/False tests use variations including Yes/No or A/B. A/B tests require test takers to group items into categories. A represents one category and B an alternative. For example, A might include amphibians and B is reptiles. A could be character traits of one person and B character traits of a different person.
State whether each number is odd or even.
This is a variant of a true/false test question. The instructions are implying if the numbers are odd (true/false) or if the numbers are even (true or false).
Write Yes or No in front of each question.
___No___ Are umbrellas used to keep you wet?
___No___ Can you grow a mustache on your foot?
__Yes___ Are Spanish and French different languages?
___No___ Can you eat tomato soup with a fork?
This is another variant of a true/false quiz.
On some True/False tests, you are required to look at an underlined word or phrase and correct it on false statements to make the statement true. Make sure you understand the instructions before the test begins.
Write out the word “true” if the statement is correct and “false” if the statement is wrong. If the statement is false, replace the underlined word with the correct answer.
__false_ The moon is the driving force of the water cycle.
__true_ Water evaporates from the ground and turns into clouds.
__false_ About 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with land.
__true_ When the clouds get too heavy from collecting water, they release it through a process called precipitation.
- Read test questions carefully. Every specific fact must be true. Often the smallest detail can affect the answer.
True or False
__false_ George Washington was the first President of the United States, Commander of the Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, a gentleman planter, and on January 1, 1863 issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
__false_ Dogs can hear at a distance four times that of humans, climb trees to get away from predators, can see in the dark much better than humans can, and can run around 19 miles an hour.
Beware of long true/false statements with many details. Even if all but one detail is true, the statement will still be false.
- Pay close attention to words that contain negative prefixes including un- and non-.
- Watch carefully for double negatives. For example, ‘not unlikely’ means ‘likely.’ When you come across a statement rewrite it removing the double negative.
- Extreme modifiers such as always, all, no one, absolutely, the worst, never, or only tend to make the statement false but not always. Just remember, absolutes are rarely true.
Then determine if each statement is true or false and absolute or not absolute.
There are no square circles. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
All 90 species of whales and dolphins can be divided into two categories: baleen whales and toothed whales. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
Dogs may bite strangers. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
When cleaning your home, bleach and ammonia should never be mixed. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
The most populated city in the US is New York City, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
Sitting in front of the room will assure you of getting a good grade. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
The history of the United States of America is brief when compared to many other countries. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
Everyone loves ice cream. [True or False] [Absolute or Not Absolute]
When All Else Fails…Guess
- True statements are easier to write than false ones. If you have no idea of the correct answer, select true. True/False tests contain more true statements than false ones.
- If the test question contains an extremely specific detail such as listing the number of something, it is more likely to be true.
- On the other hand, qualifiers such as sometimes, usually, probably, might, seldom, often, and many are more likely to make the statement true.
- Often questions that state a reason are false.
- When a question contains a justification, it is more likely false. Keywords to spot justifications include the following: since, because, when, if.
It is not true that a dozen means 12. [True or False]
Not all sports have balls. [True or False]
MacDonald only sells hamburgers. [True or False]
The capital of the United States is not Washington, D. C. [True or False]
A horse can never pull more than it weighs. [True or False]
You can look up the meanings of words in dictionaries, indexes, and glossaries. [True or False]
It is unlikely that no rain will fall in the Sahara Desert each day. [True or False]
Many people are not unafraid of sky diving. [True or False]