Guessing on the SSAT
One of the biggest dilemmas about the SSAT is whether it hurts or helps you to guess on those questions you cannot solve. First, we should discuss how the SSAT is scored. Each correct answer is worth one point. There is a guessing penalty on the SSAT, which penalizes you ¼ of a point for each incorrect answer. This means you can get 4 answers wrong and break-even. However, this strategy will not boost you to the top score you desire. For this, you need a better strategy than blind guesses. Here are a few tips:
If a question stumps you immediately…
…Skip it and come back after you finish the section. The answers on the SSAT are designed to stem directly from the questions. If you cannot figure out how the math problem should be solved or the verbal question should be answered by reading the question, skip it and come back when you have extra time remaining to devote to it.
Use process of elimination (POE) before guessing.
The SSAT penalizes you ¼ of a point for each incorrect answer. However, if you are able to narrow your options down to three answer choices, the odds are in favor of guessing. At this point, having systematically eliminated 2-3 choices, take an educated guess before moving on.
Don’t guess blindly.
The SSAT test writers are excellent at creating answer choices that resemble the correct answer. This will trap students who choose to guess when they have no idea how to solve the problem and will cost you points.
Study with a tutor…
…So you are prepared for those trick-answers, familiar with all of the material covered on the SSAT, and don’t have to rely on guessing.
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