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Knowing the answer but still choosing the wrong answer?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by automan2, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. automan2

    automan2 2+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    Is this common for most people. I do a block of questions, and I get my less than stellar score. I think look up the answers and think to myself, "What was I doing? I know this stuff. In fact, I know this stuff cold, and yet I still chose the wrong answer!"

    I am hoping with more practice questions I will come along, but does anyone care to share their experiences? Does anyone have a system for answering questions that actually gets them to stop, and intelligently "think" about the answer choice they are picking?
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  3. hopefulmed

    hopefulmed 2+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    I have this very same problem... worser further into the test.. For me, I have a problem of just getting too lazy to read, so I read a sentence, but ignore putting the words together.. Sometimes I have to read a sentence a couple time just to put all the words together :scared:
  4. Wings4Marie

    Wings4Marie 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2007

    Read the question... before you jump the gun and click on your favorite answer, stop for a second. Remind yourself that you always f**k this up. Now just relax and think. Now just reason out in your head why an answer is an answer. Dont make up reasons for why a wrong answer is right. Last thing to think is, "Is this the best answer?" Now pick that right answer. If you have no idea, just pick the most common which has a higher probability of being right than a random guess. I was in the same bind as you until I figured out how to get out of it.
  5. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    After I pick an answer, I like to ask myself

    "If I was writing a question on this subject, would I have written it like this? If not, why did they do it this way?"
  6. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!

    This type of problem is usually the result of not reading the question properly or not understanding what is being asked. There is a huge tendancy to attempt to "speed through" but accuracy and comprehension begin to suffer.

    Not only do you have to read and understand the questions but you have to read and understand all of the answer choices and pick the best on. When you are doing your practice tests and you keep seeing the same types of mistakes, what are you doing to correct those mistakes?

    In general, mistakes are made because of lack of knowledge or lack of application of that knowlege to the situation presented. If your mistake is a knowledge deficit, you can go to a review book and take care of that problem. If you mistakes are due to lack of application of the knowlege to the situation presented by the question, then you need to look at you knowledge processing/reading comprehension and perhaps slow down a bit.

    If you are not seeing a progression in your scores, then you need to look at pushing the test back a bit in order to make sure that you hone the things that you need. Be sure to build in some relaxation time along with your study time too. As that exam gets closer, many folks put so much pressure upon themselves that their performance can really suffer. Trust that if you have thoroughly mastered your coursework (and you did if you passed your courses)that you can handle any question that comes up as long as you have thoroughly reviewed. Good luck!
  7. automan2

    automan2 2+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Keep it coming.....

    I remember a time like this when I was studying for the MCAT. After a while, you begin to get a better feeling for the intentions of the question askers, and then you (hopefully) see a jump in the scores.

    I haven't done very many questions yet, so it will be a while for me......

    Does anyone find themselves over thinking the problem? It seems like I come up with the right answer, then I scrutinize some little part of the question stem, I then think the question is too simple and it is trying to trick me, and I choose the second best option.

    As I write this, I realize that it isn't me knowing too much, it is me thinking I know too much, when in fact, I know too little. I go back after a few days to the question and generally there is a striking reason why the answer choice I picked was wrong, but for some reason I disregarded that to make it fit what I was thinking.

    I don't even know what I am talking about anymore.....
  8. Wings4Marie

    Wings4Marie 2+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    I hate questions that are one sentence long and you have to think twenty steps.... oh i dunno something like...

    "Child presents with hypotension, what's the most likely diagnosis?"

    first off you have no clue... second off, you look at the explanation and it talks about bilateral acoustic schwannomas from a radiation induced chromosomal translocation that was inherited 3 generations ago however in this specific case it presented as a new mutation from a mosaic line of a lymphoma that only affects the hilar nodes during a middle lobe Klebsiella Pneumonia infection that presented with neon pink colored sputum.
  9. mesoderm

    mesoderm Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2004
    I think this is a psychological phenomenon. You know that you know it, but something about MC tests tricks you into second-guessing yourself. Especially for those us (me, bigtime) that pick the right answer, then change it to the wrong one.

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