Guide to Guessing on Standardized Exams | Winward Academy


“I Don’t Remember Practicing This!” A Guide to Guessing on Standardized Tests

Winward Academy strives to ensure that you’re completely prepared for your standardized test. Still, most students – no matter how confident and prepared – will have to hazard a guess or two on test day. There’s no shame in that game. Take a deep breath and use these tools to help maximize your score.

On the ACT and SAT:

Don’t leave any answers blank; a wrong answer won’t result in a point deduction. The more choices you can eliminate, the better. Remember to cross out all of the answers you’re sure are incorrect. If you suspect you won’t have time to solve all of the problems on your section, leave yourself enough time to guess. Not doing so is a common mistake, which can result in a lost opportunity to earn a couple extra, easy points on your ACT or SAT. But be careful – if a student is seen writing on their test past the allotted time for the section, that student’s answers can be voided.

For your information:

SAT and ACT answers are randomized by a computer, so contrary to popular belief, B and C won’t necessarily be the most common answers. Most likely, standardized tests will eventually prove to have each letter option correct an equal amount of the time. Teachers who create their own tests are more likely to assign correct answers to reoccurring letters, but that won’t happen on the ACT or SAT.

To sum it up:

We hope this information is helpful, but we like to think you won’t need to guess very often after working with Winward Academy. Good luck!

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About Winward Academy – Winward Academy is one of the world’s leading innovators in the online education space, providing web-based academic support that enhances students’ knowledge, confidence, and competitiveness in middle and high school academics and in college applications. We help thousands of students every year by providing personalized, comprehensive ACT and SAT test preparation and extensive math curriculum support. The Winward Academy learning platform honors over 40 years of education and cognitive psychology research, incorporating proven techniques that promote effective learning.

Winward Academy’s unmatched reputation is wholly attributable to our students’ exceptional success and to the trust earned among students, parents, and schools around the world.

Jennifer Winward, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Winward is a renowned college instructor, a distinguished 20-year veteran of high school tutoring, and the founder and lead instructor of Winward Academy. She earned her Ph.D. specializing in adolescent brain development and adolescent learning. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude with highest distinction honors. Dr. Winward has been widely recognized for her academic success, published research, and philanthropic efforts with awards from the President of the United States, the California State Assembly, Rotary International, the Marin County School Administrator Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Science Foundation.