How To Answer True or False Questions

June 13, 2023
6 min read

Are you hoping to get better at answering true or false questions? This article gives a thorough breakdown of how that can be done!

True or false questions are the simplest yet trickiest to answer on tests or exams. Your task sounds uncomplicated: decide whether or not a statement is correct, and you have your answer.

However, this process of deciding makes the waters much murkier than they first seem. From tricky wording to confusing structure, true or false questions may seem like easy points but  require a lot of tact and carefulness to get them right.

This article will tell you all you need to know to answer true or false questions!

7 Tips & Strategies for Answering True/False Questions

How to answer true or false questions? Besides studying, it seems ironic that the genre of questions that asks about truthfulness is also deceptive in its straightforward appearance. Answering the questions accurately requires a careful and skillful approach. Here, we have seven tips that will help you navigate the dilemma of true or false.

1. True Statements Must Be Fully True

If any part of the statement is wrong, the entire statement is wrong, and the answer is “false.” For a statement to be true, it must be true and not contain anything incorrect from start to finish. That is when you may answer “true.” This is especially helpful for long or convoluted statements. 

For example, the statement: "All mammals lay eggs." This statement is false because not all mammals lay eggs; mammals give birth to live young. Therefore, the statement contains something incorrect and cannot be fully true. The answer is false.

2. Watch Out for Quantifiers

Quantifiers are words, often adverbs, that either restrict or open up the scope of general statements. Common examples include “sometimes, often, frequently, ordinarily, generally, never, always, every," just to name a few.

Qualifiers that are absolute words, such as “every, all, no, none, never,” are restricting quantifiers. They imply that the statement  must always be true and have no counterexamples for it to be considered “true.” 

However, qualifiers that are not absolute, such as “usually, sometimes, occasionally,” imply that the statement can have exceptions and still be true. If there are cases where the original statement is true, then the answer is true. 

For example, for the statement “leaves are usually green,” there are cases where leaves are green; thus, the answer is true.

3. Simplifying Long Statements

Long statements usually contain smaller statements that can be deemed true or false (let us call them “phrases”) that are connected with either punctuation or conjunction words such as “and,” “or,” “because,” “that,” and others. Divide the long statement into these phrases and analyze the truthfulness of each of them.

When doing this step, it’s important to know that the entire statement is false; if any of these phrases contain incorrect information, the entire statement is false. All of these phrases must be correct for the statement to be true. 

4. Find Proof 

What do you use to answer true or false questions? You use your knowledge to determine whether or not something is true or false. Therefore, when answering such questions, try to use knowledge to find any evidence as to whether or not the statement is true.

For example, if you encounter the statement “0 is a positive number”, you may recall in mathematics class that the definition of a positive number is “any number greater than 0”, which contradicts the statement in question, thus making it false. 

Remember: use your knowledge of the subject matter to guide you. Don’t make assumptions, nor let your biases get in the way.

5. Take Care of Negatives

Negative words, such as “no, not, none,” or negative suffixes, such as “non-” or “un-,” may also add confusion in true or false questions. When this happens, one tip is to cover up the negative in the statement or phrase. If the statement is true with the negative covered,  the original statement is false, and vice versa.

The two negatives can cancel out each other for statements containing two negatives or double-negative. For example, “not unable” means “able,” and “not impossible” means “possible.” 

6. Know How “If-Then” Relations Work

For statements that take the form of “If [phrase A], then [phrase B],” if phrase A being true will logically lead to phrase B being true, then the original statement is true. Here, it does not matter if phrase A is true; as the “if” implies, we should assume phrase A is true and assume whether or not it will cause phrase B to be true.

For example, we have the statement, “If it rains, the ground might be wet.” Raining will lead to a possibility for the ground to be wet. Therefore, this statement is correct. However, if the statement is “If the ground is wet, then it rained,” false because the ground being wet doesn’t lead to “it rained” being true.

7. Guess If You Must

As the name suggests, true or false questions only have two answers.  If you guess, you will have a 50% chance of being correct. Therefore, if you spend yourself completely stumped or taking too long to find an answer, taking the risk, guessing an answer, and moving on might be a good choice.

FAQs: Answering True or False Questions

If you still have questions about how to answer true or false questions, check out these frequently asked questions.

1. Which Words Should You Look Out for in True or False Questions?

It would help to be mindful of quantifiers (especially absolute words), negatives, and conjunctions of longer statements. These words play a huge role in determining whether a statement is true or false, so ensure you know how to analyze them in the context of true or false questions so you won’t get confused!

2. How Do You Ace a True or False Exam?

A lot of practice can help you gain experience and proficiency in true or false exams and tests. If the exam is in a certain subject, such as mathematics, familiarize yourself with that subject area to increase your chances of distinguishing true from false.

3. Are True or False Questions Easier than Multiple Choice?

How easy a type of question is depends on the student. But, generally speaking, true or false questions are easier. Multiple choice is more complicated and requires you to make a selection out of more options, with some of them being trickier than true or false questions, such as “all of the above” or “none of the above.”

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of  how to answer true or false questions. Remember, read every word carefully. Each word may carry nuance that makes the statement teeter the thin line between true and false, and not being careful with your reading may lead you right into pitfalls. 

With tactful skills and critical thinking (and maybe a little tutoring), true and false questions might not be as daunting as they seem! 

Best wishes!

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