Should I omit questions on the SAT test?
Any good athlete or coach knows that you don’t go into a big game without a great strategy. You practice hard, eat and sleep well, and walk onto the field on game day with a proven playbook. When it comes to the SAT Test, omitting a question represents one of the best “plays” you can run. Proven fact: Omitting questions raises your SAT test score.
Success in omitting comes down to knowing when to do it, and at CATES we advise a pretty aggressive approach. The multiple choice questions on the SAT Test feature five answer choices. While some people say you should guess if you can eliminate one of these five, you should probably opt to omit when you cannot eliminate three of the five answer choices on a given SAT Test question. At CATES, we have discovered with our students that omitting according to this “rule of three” can sometimes make the difference between a score of 590 and one of 610. At the higher end of the scale in the Critical Reading, for example, one question could be the difference between a 760 and an 800!
Why? The SAT test does not deduct points for omitting. This means that if you leave a question blank, you do not lose or gain any points, and your SAT Test score remains unaffected. If you guess correctly, you gain a point – the best case scenario. However, if you guess incorrectly, you lose a quarter of a point. So if you find yourself stuck with more than two possible answer choices, we at CATES say: walk away. Think of omission your friend on the SAT Test, while anything worse than 50/50 odds as your nemesis.