Tips For Taking The Test
There are strategies for taking standardized, multiple-choice tests. Of course, there is no substitute for knowing and recording the correct answer. But when certainty fails you, here are a few good guidelines:
- Read the entire question and possible answers carefully and more than once if necessary.
- Avoid answering too quickly. Be certain that you understand what is being asked. Look for key terms. See the forest for the trees.
- Be wary of distractors. If you are well prepared, you will understand that they are not relevant to the question.
- If flummoxed by a question, do not spend an inordinate amount of time on it. Mark it for review and move on. Better to return to it later when it may well be clearer with the passage of time. Some questions present information less directly than it appeared when you were studying it.
- Pace yourself, keeping track of time. Reach for the low hanging fruit. Come back to the difficult questions that you have marked for review once you've completed all of the exam questions.
- Use the calculator provided to answer problems that require calculations. Double check your work to ensure accuracy.
- Avoid changing answers. Your first impulse is usually correct. Fail to heed to this principle at your peril. Sometimes information in another question may shed light on the one about which you have doubts and whose answer you may be inclined to change. Be extremely careful.
- Eliminate answers that are obviously wrong before moving on to any guessing games.
- If two choices sound similar, then either both are incorrect, or one is more correct than the other. The latter may be the right answer.
- If two choices are opposites, then one of them is probably right.
- Answers featuring such absolutes as "all" or "none" are usually wrong. Most situations are a bit more nuanced.
- The most obvious answer is probably wrong, but the second-most obvious answer is probably right. There are exceptions, however. Always read the question completely and carefully.
- If four numbers are given as possible answers and two of them are close together, then one of those two is probably right.
- If four numbers are given as possible answers and two of them differ only by a decimal place, then one of those two is probably right.
You have probably figured out that these shortcuts have the potential to rule each other out. It is also possible that the crafty test writers who prepare the Series 3 exam will know these shortcuts and will work around them. Remember, these are just ways to help you improve your odds when you have absolutely nothing left to go on but your best guess.
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