Terri of Prepped and Polished talks about when to guess and when to skip on challenging SSAT test questions.
Hi, I’m Terri with Prepped and Polished in South Natick, Massachusetts. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Today I’m going to tell you what you need to know about guessing versus skipping on the SSAT Upper and Middle Levels. Most of my students taking the SSAT are very confused when it comes to when to guess and when to skip, when they don’t know the answer to a challenging test question.
Well, I’m gonna make it easy for you today. Three key words to remember, power of elimination. Let me show you what I mean. Well, right off the bat, let me show you how the scoring works. Skipping a question gains you zero points, an incorrect answer you’re penalized a quarter point, and a correct answer you get one point.
Now, you might be lucky guessing, you might be a good guesser, but statistically random guessing will not boost your score. Here’s a scenario that might show you what I mean. Say you make four random guesses, and they’re all incorrect. That would be minus one because each incorrect answer is minus a quarter point.
And then let’s say you got an answer correct, you would get plus one point. And your gain would be zero, it would be flat. So what does boost your score? And that, as I said, is the power of elimination. Guessing aggressively using a variety of strategies to eliminate incorrect answers, strategies that you’ve learned through tutoring or studying. And that boosts your chances of plus one for each correct answer.
Here’s a little more data just to show you what I mean. There’s five answer choices. If you eliminate 2, your odds go up 33.3% that you will pick the correct answer. And if you can eliminate three choices, your odds will go up 50%, that’s pretty good.
Skipping is only for the hardest of questions when you absolutely can’t eliminate any answer choices. Now, the questions go from easy to hard except for reading. So, you know, on the verbal reasoning and quantitative sections, you might feel like skipping at the end of those sections they’ll be the harder questions but, you know, still try to use your power of elimination.
Now you know more about guessing versus skipping on the SSAT, the upper and middle levels. I hope this will help you to boost your score.
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