Subject Test GRE

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10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2011
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I noticed in studying for the Psych Subject GRE that the advice is to leave blank any questions which you do not know the definite answer to, because you will not have points deducted for not answering a question. Therefore, if you only answer the questions you know the answer to and leave the rest unanswered, you will get a much better score. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how this could be. Couldn't someone then just answer 20 questions, and leave the other 200 or so blank? I must be confused about something here, and cannot find an answer, so I thought I'd ask.

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If you only answer 20 questions your total raw score is going to be very, very low. You get one point for every correct answer and -.25 point for every incorrect answer. The raw score is then translated to a scaled score (600, 650, etc). Leaving questions blank won't reduce your score but they will reduce your total raw score.

Say you have a test with 100 questions with a similar scoring system as the subject GRE. One person answers 30 questions, get them all right, but leaves 70 questions blank. Their total raw score is 30. Another person answers 80 questions (leaves 20 blank) and gets 8 wrong. Their highest possible raw score is 80. Taking off .25 for every wrong question and they're left with a raw score of 78.

So even though person 2 got more questions wrong than person 1, they still end up with a much higher score.

Does that make sense?
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