Rationalizing answer choices

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Rationalizing answer choices

Postby collegebum1989 » Sun May 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Took a timed practice and noticed an interesting trend, that when I read answer choices, if I feel confident about A or B, then i'll breeze through C, D, and E and "convince myself of why it is wrong". When re-checking answers, I find that a lot of times, I incorrectly choose the earlier answer choices (A,B) and don't pay much attention to C, D, and E, and this is why I get them wrong.

I've noticed that this happens when I review answers too. If I incorrectly read the answer key, and begin review the answers, I begin to convince myself how the answer choice I thought i read in the answer key is right, and it makes sense until I look at the answer key again and noticed I misread the answer key and that the answer was totally different.

Seems like I'm rationalizing explanations to try to convince myself I know why the answer is correct. May seem a little weird, but I have this problem usually only on questions where I am not confident either about the stimulus or the passage. This does not happen with a particular question type.

So how should I prep to get over this? Thanks!

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Re: Rationalizing answer choices

Postby dowu » Sun May 06, 2012 7:00 pm

:shock: :shock:
Last edited by dowu on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rationalizing answer choices

Postby flem » Mon May 07, 2012 8:53 am

nmop_apisdn wrote:Hold all answers as contenders until you absolutely know that it is wrong.

For example, if I read answer choice A and think "what the fuck, this could be wrong but I just dont understand it yet", I'll leave it and come back to it.
If I read answer choice B, i'll eliminate it because of X reasons (contradicts the stimulus, goes way out of scope, etc...)
Then I read C and think, "fuck, this sounds better than A" so I'll leave it as a contender.
Then I read D and eliminate the same way I eliminated B.
Then I read E and think, "wow, this answer choice doesnt know what the fuck it's talking about because of X reasons", so I'm down to two choices.

SO NOW, all I have to do is check my two answers that I have left and justify which one is wrong, leaving me with my supposedly correct answer choice that I can now check and validate it as the correct answer.

This way, you're not going from right to wrong, but instead wrong to right.

Try it out!

Credited. On your first read through just knock out answer choices that are obviously wrong and then nitpick the rest.

Be aware that E is often a trap for people that approach with the original strategy.


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Re: Rationalizing answer choices

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 07, 2012 9:59 am

Saying the same thing in a slightly different way...

Look for wrong answers, rather than right answers. You sound as though you're saying that A sounds right, rather than that A is not wrong. All you know, until you've looked at the rest of the answers, is that A isn't wrong yet.

Finding wrong answers is easier than finding right answers. There are more of them. Less superficially, many of the answers are written to look good on a first glance but have something subtly wrong with them. You can't tell if an answer is that or if it's genuinely right until you've seen everything else.

So think about eliminating answers, not choosing them.

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