Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Home > School and Learning > By Grade > High School > SATs and Other Tests > Types of Questions and Answers
|

Types of Questions and Answers

Easy Questions Have Easy, Obvious, Popular Answers—Hard Questions Have Hard, Unexpected, Unpopular Answers
It helps to think of SAT questions as popularity contests. The answer to an easy question is the most popular choice. The answer to a difficult question is the least popular choice. In other words, popular choices on difficult questions are traps.

If you think about the SAT for a moment, you'll realize that questions have to be designed this way. Since a multiple-choice question provides the answer, the only way they can make a question difficult is to camouflage the answer and make the wrong choices more appealing. Another way to look at the choices is whether they are attractive or unattractive. The answer to an easy question will be an attractive choice; that's why it's an easy question. The answer to a difficult question is an unattractive choice; that's why it's a hard question.

What makes a choice attractive or popular will depend on the type of question. On a math question, any easy numbers that seem to solve the problem will be popular choices. On a sentence completion, any easy words that seem reasonable will be popular choices. Sometimes a question will have more than one attractive choice; sometimes it won't have any.

If you're stuck on an easy question, remind yourself that the answer should be easy and obvious. If you're stuck on a hard question, remind yourself that the answer should be hard and unexpected. And if you're stuck on a medium question, remind yourself that the answer shouldn't be too easy or too hard.

Knowing the difficulty of the question you're working on is a powerful clue for checking your work. If you've solved a difficult question but your solution is an obvious choice, one that would attract other students—you've probably made a mistake. Knowing the difficulty of the question is also a powerful tool when you're forced to guess.

Later I'll show you how to apply this principle to the different question types.

|

From The RocketReview Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT and the PSAT by Adam Robinson. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Handwriting Headquarters
We've got handwriting practice worksheets, handwriting tips, and answers to your child's writing struggles, just in time for back to school. Brought to you by BIC.

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!