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How To Guess On The SAT

At Prep Expert, we believe that sufficient test prep will eliminate virtually all surprises when taking the actual SAT. However, we realize that nerves and odd questions can throw anyone off. That’s why, if you have to guess on questions, at least do so intelligently.

Here are 5 tips on how to guess on the SAT if worst comes to worst on test day.

Don’t forget to check out our various SAT prep courses today.


how to guess on the sat

Process Of Elimination

Make the process of elimination your friend.

The reason why is narrowing down the options to choose from is easier than staring at four possible choices and freaking out. To do so, you have to carefully read the question and then check out your available options. It’s not that difficult to do.

Once you review those options and digest the information provided, use logic and your learned knowledge about the subject to help you eliminate wrong choices. Even if you only eliminate one or two choices, you’ve now made guessing correctly on the right answer much more likely.

how to guess on the sat

Remove Blatantly Incorrect Answers

This tip especially applies to the Math section, so pay attention.

What helps here is that often Math questions will have an answer choice that is blatantly wrong, but you have to look closely to spot it fast. For example, a question may ask for a solution for variable X, and that answer has to be greater than zero. Look at the available answer choices, and if there are any that have negative values or zero itself, cross them out!


It may sound blatantly obvious, but remember that this is a timed test and it’s easy to let little things like this slip past you. Get rid of the obviously wrong answers and refocus your time working through the remaining choices, knowing that one of them is correct.

Come Back To Harder Questions

Don’t forget that time management is huge on standardized tests like the SAT and ACT.

You can either take advantage of that or let it stress you out while answering questions. One thing you can do is go through a section and answer all the easy questions first. First, you know that you’ve got those answers in the bag and can relax about losing time on them.

Second, when coming back to the harder ones, your confidence is boosted and you’ve likely given yourself extra time to work out the final answer. Don’t try answering easy and hard questions at the same time, if guessing; you will only frustrate yourself and lose time by not thinking clearly.


Double Check Your Answer Sheet

Before you move onto a new section, quickly check your answer sheet and make sure that you’ve filled in every single bubble.

Even if you have a question that absolutely stumps you and you skip it, go back and fill in a bubble. Remember that there are no penalties for leaving empty bubbles. Take advantage of that rule and make sure you fill them in.

Worst comes to worst, you have a 25% chance of getting those questions correct versus a 0% chance because you skipped it entirely. Never forget that every single point counts, so take the chance. Plus, it’s better to know what you messed up on, so you can refocus on that skill or problem again if you retake the test.

Plug-In Answer Choices

Again, this works perfectly for the Math section but the logic applies to everything else on the test too.

If you have an equation-based question, and you’re doing well with time, then the first tactic to try is simply plug in all of the possible answers into the equation and see if you reach the stated solution. If you know how to solve the equation already, then you should be able to do this rather quickly and reach the answer fast. If not, you at least are giving yourself a better chance of finding the solution than simply turning in a blind guess or skipping it entirely.


How Prep Expert Can Help You

While you can guess on the SAT, it’ll be easier to take the test with our help instead.

We understand how stressful taking the SAT is for students, especially if it’s their first attempt at it. That’s why we take the time to teach and practice Prep Expert founder Shaan Patel’s proven strategies that took him from an average to perfect SAT score.

These tips and strategies have helped countless students get into their dream schools and secure considerable scholarship money. Whether it’s through one of our flagship 6-week courses or our on-demand, self-paced video courses, we have a variety of class options available based on schedule and budget concerns.

Not only does every student learn our strategies, but they also put them into considerable practice through weekly homework assignments and practice tests. Again, if you have to guess on test day, we understand. Let us help you eliminate as much guesswork as possible today.


For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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