Every part of a true
sentence must be TRUE
If any one part of the sentence is false, the whole sentence is false
Pay close attention to NEGATIVES, QUALIFIERS, ABSOLUTES and
- Negatives can
q If the question
contains negatives such as “no, not, cannot”, drop the negative and read what remains.
q Decide whether that sentence is true or false. If it is true, its opposite,
or negative, is usually false.
It is not possible to find a cornfield anywhere near Plainfield.
are words that restrict or open up general statements.
q Words like “sometimes,
often, frequently, ordinarily” open up the possibilities of making accurate statements.
These words are more likely to reflect reality, and usually indicate TRUE answers.
q EXAMPLE: Sometimes it snows
in the fall.
Absolute words restrict possibilities.
- “No, never,
none, always, every, entirely, only” imply the statement must be true 100% of the time and usually indicate FALSE answers.
- EXAMPLE: Every single tree loses its leaves in the
Long Sentences often
include groups of words set off by punctuation.
- Pay attention
to the “truth” of each of the phrases. If one is false, it usually
indicates a FALSE answer.
- EXAMPLE: Summers in Chicago are usually pretty hot;
however, Chicago usually gets snow at least once in July.
Often true/false test contain more true answers than false answers. You have more than a 50% chance of being right with true. Review past tests for patterns.
IF YOU HAVE TO GUESS, GO TRUE!
Many students find true-false items especially difficult. A slight alteration in the phrasing of the item
can make all the difference in the world, so these questions must be read and considered carefully. The basic ground rule
for answering true-false items is that if any part of the statement is not true, then the student should select false as the
By the same token, true-false items can be over-analyzed to the point that the student goes beyond the scope
of the question, looking to find an extreme exception to what the question is testing or the "trick" suspected of lurking
somewhere in the phrasing. Read carefully, but judge what the question is actually saying.
Some teachers show a definite tendency toward having predominantly true or predominantly false items on their true false
tests. It would be well worth your time to monitor the proportion of true to false items on the first couple of tests. If
you are forced to guess on an item and if your teacher has shown a definite tendency on past tests toward mostly true
or mostly false statements, choose whichever has been more frequent.
Analyses of a wide variety of teachers’ tests indicate a greater percentage of true than false items. If no tendency
has been apparent on past tests, your best option is to guess true.
Strategies for Answering True/False Questions
- Read to the end of the sentence. All information in a statement must be true for it to be marked true. If any detail is
incorrect, the statement should be marked false.
- Watch for qualifiers. Words such as all, always, none, and never usually make a statement false. Words like most, many,
some, and usually often make the statement true.
- Exaggerated or complex statements are generally false.
- Statements that contain unfamiliar terminology are usually false.
- If you’re unsure if a statement is true of false, mark it true.