'Psyching Up' for a standardized test, i.e., the SAT SSAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, etc., ad naus....

Have you scheduled a time to take one of the standardized tests listed in the subject line? Are you thinking about signing up to take one of them? Have you taken one already, but have decided to take it again in the hopes of getting a higher score? Have you taken one of the tests, and found the experience so rewarding, you plan to sign up and take the same test simply for the enjoyment? (If you’re in the latter category, I’d seriously examine your core values ; < ).

Regardless, if you must take one, and nearly everyone does that plans to enroll in a college, university, professional school, or private school, here is a suggestion that I haven’t read about in any of the testing prep manuals or on any of the websites devoted to improving one’s score on these tests. And that advice is to beware of the “positive I’m correct about this answer ‘rush’”

This phenomenon may occur on the multiple-choice segments of these tests because, of course, you want to finish and get out of there and you also want to complete all the questions on each portion of the test. But be careful! Many test developers will sneak in a choice that seems to be correct, but isn’t. They may do so, by trying to confuse you with vocabulary.

For example, you see the word “magnanimous” and figure it means “gigantic” or “large” and that seems to fit the blank in a sentence completion response. It could be that the correct answer does imply “largeness in size” but that’s not what “magnanimous” means. However, you think it does, and a little jolt of satisfaction goes off in your mind, and you select it. Whoops! The test developers have tricked another unsuspecting soul. So, the point is that—while you shouldn’t dawdle while taking your test, you also shouldn’t speed your way through multiple-choice sections without being aware that you should perhaps take a few extra seconds to let that “rush” subside, and then if your selected choice still seems correct, check off that sucker, and go on to the next.



Alan G.

PhD. All levels writing, reading AP English SAT/ACT/GRE thesis editing

1500+ hours
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