SAT Tip #1: To guess or not to guess? Is that a trick question?


The question about guessing on SAT tests is kinda like answering the question on the board!

Princeton Review suggests that students should guess an answer if they can eliminate at least one answer. And there are many private tutors who will swear the opposite is true. What should you do?

The math behind the guess logic is sound. If you can eliminate even one answer, you have increased the percentage chance that you answer is correct, and thus the penalty of a wrong answer outweighs the benefit of a correct answer.

So, what gives?

Well, the first problem is that SAT questions are designed to trick you. It is quite possible that what you are eliminating, is indeed the correct answer. The second is, if you are doing reasonably well, you are likely only guessing a few questions. The law of averages will not apply, and your scores would not even out within a test.

The best way to find out what is best for you is to mark out your guesses in your practice tests, and then check how many of them there are, and if you are indeed eliminating correct answers from time to time. You can find out if you are better off without guessing at all.

Image credit: Some rights reserved by dullhunk
This entry was posted in 10th grade, 11th grade, 12th grade, SAT, Tips by Sri Subramanian (@whosissri). Bookmark the permalink.

About Sri Subramanian (@whosissri)

Sri is a technologist with a point of view, hoping to make this world a better place in small ways. She lives at the intersection of business, technology, and people. Sri is currently Founder of Sri is also responsible for bringing two wonderful girls into this world, and - with ample help from her husband, and family and friends - successfully inserting many non-fun moments (such as brushing teeth) into their lives.

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