MCAS Strategy of the Week

Process of Elimination and the Answer Eliminator Tool

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Process of Elimination

What is it? The process of elimination is a test-taking strategy to use when you are unsure of the answer to multiple choice questions. When you take a random guess at a multiple choice question, you have a 25% chance of answering the question correctly. When you eliminate noticeable wrong answers, your chances of answering the question correctly increase to 33% or even 50%!

How does it work? Let's look at an example. Consider the following question:

Who was the first president of the United States?

a. Donald Trump

b. George Washington

c. Abraham Lincoln

d. Oprah Winfrey

The first step is to eliminate answers that are noticeably incorrect. Donald Trump is the current president, so you can eliminate A immediately. Eliminate it!

Even if you are unsure who the other options are, you may use prior knowledge to recognize that there have been no female presidents of the United States, and you can eliminate answer D. Cross it out!

You're left with two options, George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Even if you have no clue, you have a 50/50 shot at answering correctly! If you're able to recall information and timelines from History class and remember that you learned about George Washington in September, and Abraham Lincoln in December, you may eliminate Abraham Lincoln and assume that he came later in American History. This leaves George Washington as the best and only option remaining.