SAT Test: Process of Elimination

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There won't be many questions on the SAT in which incorrect choices will be as easy to eliminate as they were on the Azerbaijan question. But if you read this book carefully, you'll learn how to eliminate at least one choice on almost any SAT multiple-choice question, if not two or even three choices.

What good is it to eliminate just one or two choices on a four-choice SAT question?

Plenty. In fact, for most students, it's an important key to earning higher scores. Here's another example:

2. The capital of Qatar is

A) Paris.

B) Dukhan.

C) Tokyo.

D) Doha.

On this question you'll almost certainly be able to eliminate two of the four choices by using POE. That means you're still not sure of the answer. You know that the capital of Qatar has to be either Doha or Dukhan, but you don't know which.

Should you skip the question and go on? Or should you guess?

Close Your Eyes and Point

There is no guessing penalty on the SAT, so you should bubble something for every question. If you get down to two answers, just pick one of them. There's no harm in doing so.

You're going to hear a lot of mixed opinions about what you should bubble or whether you should bubble at all. Let's clear up a few misconceptions about guessing.

FALSE: Don't answer a question unless you're absolutely sure of the answer.

You will almost certainly have teachers and guidance counselors who tell you this. Don't listen to them! The pre-2016 SAT penalized students for wrong answers, but the new SAT does not. Put something down for every question: You might get a freebie.

FALSE: If you have to guess, guess (C).

This is a weird misconception, and obviously it's not true. As a general rule, if someone says something really weird-sounding about the SAT, it's usually safest not to believe that person.

FALSE: Always pick the [fill in the blank].

Be careful with directives that tell you that this or that answer or type of answer is always right. It's much safer to learn the rules and to have a solid guessing strategy in place.

As far as guessing is concerned, we do have a small piece of advice. First and foremost, make sure of one thing:

Answer every question on the SAT. There's no penalty.

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