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True-False Test Tips

Every part of a true sentence must be "true"
If any one part of the sentence is false, the whole sentence is false despite many other true statements.

Pay close attention to:

  • negatives
  • qualifiers
  • absolutes
  • long strings of statements

Negatives can be confusing.

If the question contains negatives, as "no, not, cannot":

  • Drop the negative and read what remains
  • Decide whether that sentence is true or false
  • If it is true, it’s opposite, or negative, is usually false

Qualifiers are words that restrict or open up general statements.

Words like "sometimes, often, frequently, ordinarily, generally" open up the possibilities of making accurate statements.  They make more modest claims, are more likely to reflect reality, and usually indicate "true" answers.

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

Long sentences often include groups of words set off by punctuation.

  • Pay attention to the "truth" of each of these phrases
  • If one is false, it usually indicates a "false" answer


Often true/false tests contain more true answers than false answers.  You have more than 50% chance of being right with "true".  However, your teacher may be the opposite.  Review past tests for patterns...