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Test Prep – Why Guessing Letter C is Wrong

Have you ever been told to guess the letter C when you don’t know the correct answer on a multiple-choice test? I was told this at an early age, and it has really stuck with me even though it is completely wrong. Perhaps there is some logic in guessing letter C knowing that it isn’t the first answer and not the last. The letter C is also the third letter in the alphabet, a prime number. All of this is complete and utter nonsense. Keep in mind that letter B, the second letter, is also a prime number. In general guessing leads to a low probability of getting a good score regardless of the methodology behind the random selection. However, many questions are written in such a way that they have certain tendencies and patterns. Knowing this information allows students a better chance to determine the correct answer without having to resort to guessing.

This last week’s SAT/ACT Test Prep class covered questions of the type “which of the following…”. These are the most common question types not just on these tests but also on exams most students see in college. They require the student to read through all the answer choices before making a decision. Read that again, they require the student to read every single multiple-choice answer before deciding. This takes a lot of time. Without doing this, the student has no way to know if their answer is the most correct. I would never advocate that a student guess the answer when facing questions of this type. There are strategies for determining the correct answer taught in my SAT/ACT Test Prep Packages. However, the nature of these questions leads to more often than not choosing the last answer. Remember, the people that write test questions want to delay you from moving on to the next question and by putting the answer at the end, this takes the most time. So if you have to guess…guess the last answer!

Sign up for one of my SAT/ACT Prep Packages and learn helpful strategies. Just click on the Student Resources tab and select College Prep – SAT/ACT and choose the package that works best for you.

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