Different tests require different strategies.
In multiple choice tests, you can get away with educated guesses. Even when you have no idea what the right answer is, you have a 25% chance of being right. (Assuming 4 possible answers)
Most students don’t know this but free-response/essay questions also have tricks of the trade.
And this year, AP tests (tests for college credit in hs) are going to be free-response. (Because multiple choice and open book aren’t a good mix.)
Getting this stuff down is particularly important. And memorization is dramatically less useful than familiarity in this case.
Writing is a super important skill in this situation. A good writer that’s less skilled in the subject could easily score higher than a poor writer that knows the subject well.
If you suck at writing then I suggest the full KAIC program. It can give you a few important strategies (that can help you score high on essays, even when you’re clueless what you’re talking about.
But anyway… to the 5 tips…
1. Write too much when possible. Always write more than you need. (If you’re wrong then this can disguise it and earn you points.)
2. Always use the resources provided – I don’t care if you think they’re crap. They’re defendable.
3. Never “fight the man” or argue against orthodoxy. There is a time for making points like this. Standardized free-response tests aren’t the time.
4. Time is limited – don’t waste time on answers that you’re struggling with. Best case: write a quick response and come back to it later.
5. In most cases: Use small simple words. Don’t try to sound smart. It doesn’t earn you points. Simple words are: more broad (meaning you’re less likely to be wrong, just imprecise,) easier to understand (so fewer mixups in communicating your point,) and most teachers don’t fall for the old big words = smart thing.
This week – I got one of the kindest emails I’ve ever received from a reader. I sent a thank you gift but I just feel the need to give you all a little reminder – I’m super grateful for all of you reading this. And the best reward of all is hearing how I’ve made a difference in your life. Thank you!
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