Short Answer Tips

Short answer exams are a standard part of medical exams, including the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exams. Review these tips to make sure you’ve learned how to properly analyze this format. 

  • Read the question carefully and make sure that you answer everything that it asks for. Some short answer questions have multiple parts.
  • If a short answer question has multiple parts to it, break down each one and answer separately
  • Respond and write concisely. Focus on keywords and ideas called for.
  • Answer in specific terms, not in general.
  • You will be scored only on the number of answers required (e.g. if you are asked to provide three responses and put down five, only the first three will be scored).
  • If you can think of several answers, put the best ones at the top.  
  • A guess made with common sense, could get you more test points than if you leave an answer blank.