Let me paint you a picture: you’re taking a test, and even if you’ve spent hours preparing, there are still some questions you’re not certain about the answer for. The test is right minus wrong. What should you do? Let’s discuss.

One of the most important part of taking tests is devising a strategy to effectively take the test. Whether it be timing how much time you can spend on a question, or studying differently to more effectively answer a certain type of test.

Let’s all agree that generally, an effective test taking strategy is to guess. You will be taking more risk by not guessing because in regular tests, guessing at least lets you give yourself a chance, because you have nothing to lose if you get the answer wrong and everything to gain if you get the answer right.

However, some tests, like the University of the Philippines College Entrance Exam, have a right minus wrong mechanic. This means that every answer you get wrong does not only mean you don’t get a higher score, but your score actually drops, depending on the assigned ratio. Tests like this often give no penalty for leaving a question blank. This means you just don’t get a point.

In cases like this, it might be a better idea to skip the question altogether. After all, it is more advantageous to simply have to worry about getting more points than recovering from a deficit. Of course, there may be some questions where you might feel comfortable enough to risk guessing, in which case it’s a gamble, and the decision is up to you.

As with a lot of things, part of taking right minus wrong tests is balancing risk. If you think a risk is worth taking, take it. If not, don’t. Just remember that no matter what, test results don’t dictate your value.

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