“No Blind Guessing.”
— The Current SAT’s Scoring System; Skipping Questions; 50/50 Answer Choices —
In March of 2016, the SAT’s scoring system will undergo some radical changes – most noteably, students will no longer be deducted ¼ of a point for wrong answers, which is a welcomed relief – but until those adjustments take place, it is extremely important to recognize and understand the most effective way to achieve and preserve your SAT scores.
The #1 Rule is: DO NOT guess blindly!
This is especially true when you’re unable to eliminate any answer choices from a difficult question.
Since 5 answer choices accompany each question, there is only a 1 in 5 shot or 20% chance of correctly answering any question when guessing blindly, and those are not good odds.
Ommitting or skipping questions has neither a positive or negative effect on your scores, so it makes sense, if given the choice, to skip a very difficult question then to guess blindly and decrease your hard-earned raw points.
So, the moral of the story is that it’s okay to skip 1-3 questions per section unless your goal is to score a 700 or higher.
GUESS what though?? There is a time when you should GUESS, and that time occurs when you’ve successfully eliminated 3 of 5 answer choices from any multiple choice question and only 2 answer choices remain.
Guessing 50/50 will mathematically improve your overall score. Here’s the breakdown:
1 Correct Answer receives: +1 point
1 Wrong Answer receives : -¼ of a point
Every time you encounter a 50/50 scenario on the SAT, your score should increase slightly or at the very least streamline. Take a look …
For 8 separate questions, in which only 2 answer choices remain, you should, mathematically speaking, answer 4 of these 8 correctly since it’s a 50/50 guess. That means you should gain 4 points and only lose 1. This results in three-eighths or almost ½ of a positive raw point in your favor.
4/8 Correct Answers receive: +4 points
4/8 Wrong Answers receive: -1 point
That could be the difference between a score of 590 or 600, 690 or 700, and so on.
SO REMEMBER, only guess when you narrow down your answer choices to 50/50, and at that point anticipate a score increase.
Of course, continue to be SAT tigers and practice difficult questions so that the easy and medium questions become even easier to answer. Good luck!