By Mark Riddell, Recruiting Education, Athletic & Personal Development program
Guessing on the SAT can sometimes be an unwieldy decision making process for students. There are many rumors and myths circulating about the grading system for the SAT, and it is my goal to dispel these myths and get to the truth. On the SAT, a student's raw score is determined using the following equation: raw score = (the number of correct responses)-[(1/4)(the number of incorrect responses)>.
Omissions do not add or subtract from your score, but omissions do hurt your score. The best way to conceptualize the opportunity lost from an omission relative to the opportunity lost from an incorrect answer is this: an incorrect answer results in a loss of 1.25 from a student's maximum raw score (-1 for the lack of a correct answer and -0.25 for the mistake), and an omission results in the loss of 1 from a student's maximum raw score (-1 for the lack of a correct answer).
When to guess and when to skip:
Deciding whether to guess is simple: if a student can eliminate at least 2 of the 5 multiple answer choices, then he or she should guess on the question. If no answer choices can be eliminated or if only one answer choice can be eliminated, then it is best not to answer the question and simply move on to the next question.
Riddell is a 2004 Harvard graduate with a degree in biological sciences. He specializes in preparing high school students for their SAT and ACT college admissions exams. Over the past 3 years, Mark has assisted literally hundreds of students in raising their SAT/ACT scores in order to gain admission into competitive American universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, and NYUâjust to name a few. An SAT and ACT expert, Riddell guides students through the strategies necessary to be successful on the SAT or ACT through his uniquely developed curriculum, which combines tactics from an amalgamation of different resources and years of experience.