New Research Suggests Your First Instinct May Not Be Right

By April 7, 2016Tips

According to a Princeton Review study on thousands of GRE test takers, changing your answer on a test might be a good idea, even though most people (incorrectly) trust their gut decision and stick to their original answer.

comprehensive-gre-prepAccording to the research, four things were proven:

  • More answers were changed from wrong to right than from right to wrong
  • All test takers who skipped a question and later answered it either matched or improved their scores
  • More test takers saw improved scores on Quantitative than on Verbal when going back to answer a skipped question
  • Changing answers improved scores for test takers at all ability levels

However, upon surveying the test takers, they overwhelmingly believed their initial instincts would be right on test day. 59% of surveyed test takers believed the original answer was more likely to be correct, and only 14% said the changed answer.

This study disproves the fallacy that many test takers hold that their first instinct, or gut decision, is probably going to lead them to the right answer. It’s clear that the research supports changing an answer when there is good reason to do so.

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