Hacking the Test

In college, I had a professor who gave “Multiple Guess” tests. One of my less than clued classmates asked why he called them such. hahaha I knew, as usually when I took a test I knew less than half the answers outright. He had almost made me conisder studying. Yeah, almost. In The Fallacy of Hard Tests, Al Feldzamen explains how very hard tests expand the guessing window so that students have to guess more which gives less prepared students a shot of making up ground on their better prepared peers.

My skills at guessing the correct answer made me appear really intelligent on standardized and non-standardized tests. On relatively easy MC tests where an average student who studied for 5 hours should know all the answers, I’d do just good enough to pass. On harder MC tests where an average student who studied for 5 hours might not know all the answers, I’d do much better.

I probably acquired these abilities from being around teachers. In socializing with K-12 educational professionals, I found they taught my methods to students. I’d been using it for over a decade and didn’t know it was standard test taking tactics. Probably my peers had only thought it applicable to certain tests and not every MC test. The SAT penalizes students for wrong answers, so some guessing is good, but you have to know when to do it.

I so need to take the GRE.

1 comment

  1. I know exactly what you mean. I took this bioelectricity class one time, and I got 12% on the midterm. That was a B+. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. But the test was so hard, no one else did either. Despite being less prepared I performed just as well as everyone else.

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