True or false questions are questions that are presented with two possible answers to a single statement. They are typically asked in a manner that states the question: “True or false?” and then supplies a statement that must be identified as either true or false.
True of False Questions in Tests
True or false questions are popular on written tests. When true or false questions are written, they might include the letters T and F after the question, or they might feature a blank space in which you write the word true or false. If a true or false question is asked on a Scantron test, circles feature a T or an F (as opposed to A,B,C, and D) and the test taker fills in the circle corresponding to the answer. There are also Scantron tests that require test takers to choose A for true and B for false. If you are taking a Scantron test with true or false questions, read the instructions carefully before answering. Examples of true or false questions include:
- The sky is blue. T or F?
- George Washington was the first president of theUnited States. True or False?
- Food gives you energy. Answer A for true or B for false.
True or False Questions in Games
Many trivia and question games include true or false questions. If you are playing a trivia game and you are faced with this type of question, take your time answering. It can be tempting to pick a quick answer since your odds of getting the question correct are good. However, you need to make sure you understand all of the details of the question. Treat true or false questions just as you would others or you might get tripped up and lose the game.
Tricky True or False Questions
People often assume true or false questions are easier because there are only two possible answers. Though your odds are strong for getting an answer correct when you have a 50/50 shot, true or false questions can be very tricky. Because you are limited to only two answers and you are unable to explain your answer, things can get confusing. The answers are also very basic and the lack of specific details can trip up test takers. For instance, if a true or false question states “Adults are bigger than children,” you have a statement that is relatively true most of the time. Of course when you are taking a test and you read a statement such as this, you will immediately think of the rare occasions when smaller adults are compared to larger children. You might also need to consider how you define “child.” A child of 17 could easily be bigger than an adult, but it is highly unlikely a child of four would ever be larger than a full-grown adult.
Part of answering true or false questions is to look for absolutes within the statement. If there are words such as “always,” “never,” “must,” or “need,” it will be easier to determine the answer. Using the example above, consider these true or false questions:
- Children are never bigger than adults. True or false?
- Children are always bigger than adults. True or false?
The answer in each of these questions is, of course, false, because each contains an absolute statement. Likewise, look for words that open the door for a true answer. For instance:
- Children can be bigger than adults. True or false?
- Children might be bigger than adults. True or false?
In each of these cases, the answer is true because there are instances when the statements are true. This does not mean all ambiguous statements will be true and all definitive statements will be false. You just need to pay attention to the phrasing of a true or false question when determining the answer. Certain words in the statement will serve as clues to whether an answer is true or false.
Elaborating on True or False Questions
Sometimes test takers are asked to elaborate on a true or false answer. This makes the 50/50 odds of your guessing the answer correctly much lower. Many tests require you to explain why an answer is true or false. Also, if an answer is false, you might need to give the true answer. This is a tool used by test creators to ensure the test taker is not guessing at an answer and truly has a grasp of the information.
True or false questions can be simple or complicated. It is all a matter of how the question is phrased and how familiar you must be with the material if additional information is requested. If you have an upcoming test that contains true or false questions, it is best to study for the test just as you would an essay or fill in the blank test. This way you will have a complete understanding of the information and it will be easier for you to spot trick questions and elaborate on the answers if necessary.