How To Study For Application Based Questions

Studying for application based questions on tests can be tricky but with the right steps you can increase your chances of passing the test.

Learn how to study for application based questions. Get the basic principles of how to solve application based questions by going through all the steps in this tutorial.

So you have applied to a course, but it is based on an application. But in the application there were questions that need explaining and how exactly do you go about explaining them?

The most important thing to remember is that there are usually patterns that can be inferred from previous questions within the same topic and understanding these patterns can help you identify similar answers. Once you’ve identified a pattern of similar answers, it’s important to read through the options carefully and try to eliminate as many answers as possible. If you have time left after this, then go for the remaining options.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on application based questions examples, types of exam questions. Read on to learn more. We at collegelearners have all the information that you need about how to answer theory questions in exams. Read on to learn more.

How To Study For Application Based Questions

This guide will teach you how to study for application based questions, namely what it means for those who want to pass the LEED Green Associate Exam. It covers some of the basic principles in constructing an answer, but focuses mainly on what must be done before studying and while studying so that you do not waste time during this process.

You’ve finally cracked the code and are starting to ace those application tests. Be aware, however, that these tests can still throw curve balls at you so study the right way before you run into them on exam day. Studying for application based questions involve a few things that need to be taken in consideration:

Applying for a job has become a tedious process and there is no one size fits all approach. you have to make sure you create an application that showcases your skills. This guide will teach you some of the best practices to complete an application form, how to understand what kind of questions are going to be asked during the interview and how to prepare for it.

A career-critical exam differs greatly from an end-of-semester exam. One major difference is that a licensure or certification exam seeks to determine if you are minimally competent — safe — to perform your job.Therefore, to prepare yourself to deal with application-level exam questions, take my 7 suggestions:

1. Learn the anatomy of any exam item

The items on the IBLCE exam are constructed in a very similar way. Check out my post on the anatomy of an exam item.

2. Differentiate between recall and application-level exam questions

If you have acquired knowledge and facts, you can answer a simple recall question. Here are some examples.

  • What is the usual causative organism for mastitis?
  • Where on the breast is mastitis usually located?
  • What is the drug of choice to treat mastitis?
  • When is mastitis most likely to show up?

(If you’re just reciting the facts, I can give you plenty about mastitis!)

True, you do need to know this information. But don’t waste your time practicing how to  handle these questions. You will see few such questions on the IBLCE exam.

3. Learn how to deal with qualifiers in the stem

An exam item about the MOST urgent action, or the BEST response, or the FIRST step implies that more than one of the options listed might be appropriate. But only one is most, or best, or first. Very frequently, application-level exam questions have qualifiers in the stem.

4. Be prepared to know more than one concept

Lower-level items require knowledge only. However, application-level exam questions usually involve some sort of a scenario. The scenario requires you to apply knowledge using more than one concept, fact, technique, and/or rule.

Below are two test items. The first is a knowledge-level item. The second is an application-level item.

Which of these speeds, stated in miles per hour, is the typical limit on many or most U.S. highways?

  1. 35-40
  2. 45-50
  3. 55-60
  4. 65-70
  5. 75-80

Of course, you know that the answer is D, 65-70 miles per hour. Therefore, this is a simple recall question. You either know it, or you don’t.

Here, you’ll see how you must know more than one rule or fact in order to answer a question. This is more akin to a clinical vignette:

Marie is an experienced driver. She has a late-model car, and is driving north on Interstate 95 to Baltimore. During her trip, snow begins falling at a rate of about two inches per hour. What is the highest speed Marie should be driving?

  1. 45-50
  2. 55-60
  3. 65-70

You’ll need to recall that the speed limit on most Interstate Highways is 65 or 70 mph. But recall would not be adequate to answer the question. You would also need to know that snowfall of 2 inches per hour is a lot. (At that rate, a foot of snow would drop within 6 hours!) Generally, application-level exam questions require the candidate to use several facts to come to some kind of judgment, recommendation, decision, or similar action. And, if you grew up in a snow belt (as I did!) having experience helps you to know that the correct answer is option A.

5. Develop critical-thinking abilities while on the job

Facts and knowledge are considered “lower-level” knowledge. Hence, critical thinking involves “higher-level knowledge.” Technically, “higher level” knowledge is application, analysis, or evaluation. For simplicity’s sake in this post, however, I’ll talk focus on application-level exam questions, because I do believe that’s most of what you’ll see on the IBLCE exam. But do not be surprised if you see exam items that pertain to any of these classical pillars of critical thinking:

  • Decision-making
  • Problem-solving
  • Reasoning
  • Analyzing
  • Evaluating

Exam candidates need to do critical thinking to perform on-the-job roles and responsibilities. Using those classical pillars of critical thinking, you are likely to encounter exam questions that reflect:

  • Prioritizing
  • Comparing
  • Determining
  • Predicting
  • Adapting
  • Confirming
  • Performing

Therefore, expect to see questions such as:

  • (Prioritizing) In your clinic, Mrs. R. has just been diagnosed with mastitis. In developing a plan of care for her, a priority would be…
  • (Comparing) Which of these two methods will take less time to work?
  • (Determining) What question would you ask in order to determine if Mrs. S. needs medical follow up?
  • (Predicting) Given these circumstances, you could predict that…
  • (Confirming) Mrs. L. reports all of these signs and symptoms. Which observation  is MOST reliable in confirming that she is having a successful milk-ejection reflex? (Note the use of a qualifier here, which is frequently seen in application-level exam questions..)
  • (Adapting) In talking with Mrs. M., you discover she has some cultural beliefs that conflict with the standard plan of treatment. How would you individualize the plan of care for her?
  • (Performing) When assembling a [piece of equipment], which would be your FIRST step?

6. Be able to recognize clinical conditions

Oh, right! Recognizing the typical presentation of a clinical condition is a sneaky way of making sure that you can apply two separate concepts. First, you’ll need visual recognition of the typical presentation. Then, you’ll need to know what to do about it. Half or more of the IBLCE exam items are based on photos. Therefore, you’ll need to recognize the clinical condition in a photo. If you want to truly master this, the best resource I know of is our workbook on decoding and interpreting photos.

7. Think about what makes the situation “different”

This is tough to explain. But when I am creating a test with application-level exam questions, I ask myself, “What could I throw at them that would make the situation — and therefore the correct answer — different?” This is also a way of integrating the two-concept idea. Here, you can see some examples.

  • Twins and HOMs: The amount of milk a mother would have for twins or HOMs would be different than for singletons.
  • Baby’s age: A pacifier might be therapeutic for a preterm baby, but completely inappropriate for a full-term newborn.
  • Location: Mastitis is usually unilateral, whereas engorgement is usually bilateral. The question might ask you what to do. If it’s typical of mastitis, referral for medical help is more appropriate. If it’s typical of engorgement, helping the mother to move the milk and reduce her discomfort is more appropriate.
  • History: If a woman has an allergy to peanuts, suggesting fenugreek is not a good idea. (“Which of these suggestions would be LEAST appropriate for Mrs. T?”)

In conclusion, I find that most people don’t have a clue about the difficulty level of the IBLCE exam items. To try your hand at all of this, get our practice exams, which past exam candidates have said “feel” about as difficult as the real IBLCE exam.

types of exam questions

Whether you are a student studying for your final exam or an office professional struggling to keep up with learning new technology, we all want to succeed after applying our efforts. To help you succeed, we have created this guide and tested each recommendation based on our personal experience and the feedback of students and professionals. This guide is a product of Infolearners – The Study App

Examinations are a very common assessment and evaluation tool in universities and there are many types of examination questions. This tips sheet contains a brief description of seven types of examination questions, as well as tips for using each of them: 1) multiple choice, 2) true/false, 3) matching, 4) short answer, 5) essay, 6) oral, and 7) computational. Remember that some exams can be conducted effectively in a secure online environment in a proctored computer lab or assigned as paper based or online “take home” exams.

Multiple choice

Multiple choice questions are composed of one question (stem) with multiple possible answers (choices), including the correct answer and several incorrect answers (distractors). Typically, students select the correct answer by circling the associated number or letter, or filling in the associated circle on the machine-readable response sheet.

Example: Distractors are:

A) Elements of the exam layout that distract attention from the questions
B) Incorrect but plausible choices used in multiple choice questions
C) Unnecessary clauses included in the stem of multiple choice questions

Answer: B

Students can generally respond to these type of questions quite quickly. As a result, they are often used to test student’s knowledge of a broad range of content. Creating these questions can be time consuming because it is often difficult to generate several plausible distractors. However, they can be marked very quickly.

Tips for writing good multiple choice items:

AvoidDo use
In the stem:Long / complex sentencesTrivial statementsNegatives and double-negativesAmbiguity or indefinite terms, absolute statements, and broad generalizationExtraneous materialItem characteristics that provide a clue to the answer misconceptionsIn the choices:Statements too close to the correct answerCompletely implausible responses‘All of the above,’ ‘none of the above’Overlapping responses (e.g., if ‘A’ is true)In the stem:Your own words – not statements straight out of the textbookSingle, clearly formulated problemsIn the choices:Plausible and homogeneous distractorsStatements based on common student misconceptionsTrue statements that do not answer the questionsShort options – and all same lengthCorrect options evenly distributed over A, B, C, etc.Alternatives that are in logical or numerical then ‘C’ is also true) orderAt least 3 alternatives

Suggestion: After each lecture during the term, jot down two or three multiple choice questions based on the material for that lecture. Regularly taking a few minutes to compose questions, while the material is fresh in your mind, will allow you to develop a question bank that you can use to construct tests and exams quickly and easily.


True/false questions are only composed of a statement. Students respond to the questions by indicating whether the statement is true or false. For example: True/false questions have only two possible answers (Answer: True).

Like multiple choice questions, true/false questions:

  • Are most often used to assess familiarity with course content and to check for popular misconceptions
  • Allow students to respond quickly so exams can use a large number of them to test knowledge of a broad range of content
  • Are easy and quick to grade but time consuming to create

True/false questions provide students with a 50% chance of guessing the right answer. For this reason, multiple choice questions are often used instead of true/false questions.

Tips for writing good true/false items:

AvoidDo use
Negatives and double-negativesLong / complex sentencesTrivial materialBroad generalizationsAmbiguous or indefinite termsYour own wordsThe same number of true and false statements (50 / 50) or slightly more false statements than true (60/40) – students are more likely to answer trueOne central idea in each item

Suggestion: You can increase the usefulness of true/false questions by asking students to correct false statements.


Students respond to matching questions by pairing each of a set of stems (e.g., definitions) with one of the choices provided on the exam. These questions are often used to assess recognition and recall and so are most often used in courses where acquisition of detailed knowledge is an important goal. They are generally quick and easy to create and mark, but students require more time to respond to these questions than a similar number of multiple choice or true/false items.

Example: Match each question type with one attribute:

  1. Multiple Choice a) Only two possible answers
  2. True/False b) Equal number of stems and choices
  3. Matching c) Only one correct answer but at least three choices

Tips for writing good matching items:

AvoidDo use
Long stems and optionsHeterogeneous content (e.g., dates mixed with people)Implausible responsesShort responses 10-15 items on only one pageClear directionsLogically ordered choices (chronological, alphabetical, etc.)

Suggestion: You can use some choices more than once in the same matching exercise. It reduces the effects of guessing.

Short answer

Short answer questions are typically composed of a brief prompt that demands a written answer that varies in length from one or two words to a few sentences. They are most often used to test basic knowledge of key facts and terms. An example this kind of short answer question follows:

“What do you call an exam format in which students must uniquely associate a set of prompts with a set of options?” Answer: Matching questions

Alternatively, this could be written as a fill-in-the-blank short answer question:

“An exam question in which students must uniquely associate prompts and options is called a
___________ question.” Answer: Matching.

Short answer questions can also be used to test higher thinking skills, including analysis or
evaluation. For example:

“Will you include short answer questions on your next exam? Please justify your decision with
two to three sentences explaining the factors that have influenced your decision.”

Short answer questions have many advantages. Many instructors report that they are relatively easy to construct and can be constructed faster than multiple choice questions. Unlike matching, true/false, and multiple choice questions, short answer questions make it difficult for students to
guess the answer. Short answer questions provide students with more flexibility to explain their understanding and demonstrate creativity than they would have with multiple choice questions; this also means that scoring is relatively laborious and can be quite subjective. Short answer
questions provide more structure than essay questions and thus are often easy and faster to mark and often test a broader range of the course content than full essay questions.

Tips for writing good short answer items:

Type of questionAvoidDo use
All short-answerTriviaLong / complex sentencesYour own wordsSpecific problemsDirect questions
Fill-in-the-blankTaking out so many words that the sentence is meaninglessPrompts that omit only one or two key words at the end of the sentence

Suggestion: When using short answer questions to test student knowledge of definitions consider having a mix of questions, some that supply the term and require the students to provide the definition, and other questions that supply the definition and require that students provide the term. The latter sort of questions can be structured as fill-in-the-blank questions. This mix of formats will better test student knowledge because it doesn’t rely solely on recognition or recall of the term.


Essay questions provide a complex prompt that requires written responses, which can vary in length from a couple of paragraphs to many pages. Like short answer questions, they provide students with an opportunity to explain their understanding and demonstrate creativity, but make it hard for students to arrive at an acceptable answer by bluffing. They can be constructed reasonably quickly and easily but marking these questions can be time-consuming and grader agreement can be difficult.

Essay questions differ from short answer questions in that the essay questions are less structured. This openness allows students to demonstrate that they can integrate the course material in creative ways. As a result, essays are a favoured approach to test higher levels of cognition including analysis, synthesis and evaluation. However, the requirement that the students provide most of the structure increases the amount of work required to respond effectively. Students often take longer to compose a five paragraph essay than they would take to compose five one paragraph answers to short answer questions. This increased workload limits the number of essay questions that can be posed on a single exam and thus can restrict the overall scope of an exam to a few topics or areas. To ensure that this doesn’t cause students to panic or blank out, consider giving the option of answering one of two or more questions.

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