The SAT may seem to be a test of Math and English language, but apart from testing certain basic Math and English language issues, the SAT tests many issues which affect the final score of students.
- Objective Exam with Multiple Choice Questions - In a test that has items formatted as multiple choice questions, a candidate would be given a number of set answers for each question, and the candidate must choose which answer or group of answers is correct. There are two families of multiple choice questions. The first family is known as One-Best-Answer question and it requires a test taker to answer only one from a list of answers. The second family is known as the Grid-in question and it requires a test taker to write down an answer in a blank space or a grid.There are several reasons to using multiple choice questions in tests. In terms of administration, multiple choice questions usually requires less time for test takers to answer, are easy to score and grade, provide greater coverage of material, allows for a wide range of difficulty, and can easily diagnose a test taker’s difficulty with certain concepts. As an educational tool, multiple choice items test many levels of learning as well as a test taker’s ability to integrate information, and it provides feedback to the test taker about why distractors (trap answer options) were wrong and why correct answers were right. Nevertheless, there are difficulties associated with the use of multiple choice questions. In administrative terms, multiple choice items that are effective usually take a great time to construct. As an educational tool, multiple choice items do not allow test takers to demonstrate knowledge beyond the choices provided and may even encourage guessing or approximation due to the presence of at least one correct answer. For instance a test taker might not work out explicitly that , but knowing that , they would choose an answer close to 63. Moreover, test takers may misinterpret these items and in the process, perceive these items to be tricky or picky. Finally, multiple choice items do not test a test taker’s attitudes towards learning because correct responses can be easily faked.
- Normal students stick to what they learnt in school – In a normal school exam, even if a multiple choice question is given, the question will have a perfectly right answer and other answer options are perfectly wrong. So there are no traps or scope of confusion in the question. All a student needs to do – is to understand the question, apply a formula to solve the question, obtain the answer and choose the option that is the same as the obtained answer. Normal students always stick to what they learnt in school. But the SAT doesn’t test like a school does.
- On the SAT, the language of questions is tricky. The question may be asking for X but you get an impression that it is asking for Y, so you can end up making a mistake.
- Some of the wrong answers are cute and attractive and you may end up jumping for them. We will learn in class how ETS makes some wrong answers look nice and cute.
- The school test questions test whether you know your stuff –
I. How to solve a question – in Reading and Writing, needs knowledge of rules and strategies and In Mathematics needs knowledge of formulas and accuracy in calculation
II. Getting the perfectly right answer in the end.
The SAT is just concerned with the answer and gives marks for it. Many questions do not have a perfectly right answer, but an answer that is better than others, which gives you marks.
The point is – If SAT is not like your test in school, so you should think about it differently and prepare for it specifically.
- ETS exploits the habits of good students – ETS knows how typical students approach the SAT and takes advantage of the students. ETS knows that good students do everything and do it in order. ETS knows which answer choices students like and makes those choices look very good to students.
We will teach you to beat the SAT by avoiding all the traps ETS lays for you. To save you from the games that SAT / ETS plays with your head, we have come up with a name for the average, predictable student that ETS is expecting. Normal Nick is your average guy- not too bright but not too dumb either. We love him though, because he is completely predictable and we can use that to beat ETS at its own game. Normal Nick helps us eliminate answer choices and avoid traps.