Filling in the Bubbles

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

Filling in the Bubbles

Postby matonski » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:43 pm

I've taken 3 of the practice tests so far, and on each one, I've gotten a couple wrong simply because I messed up on filling in the bubble. Usually, I skipped a problem but forgot to skip a row on the answer sheet. Other times, I just bubbled in the wrong one even though I told myself that such and such was the answer. Obviously, I should just be more careful, but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and has any tips.

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meowful
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:47 am

Re: Filling in the Bubbles

Postby meowful » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:29 pm

I had this problem too. :/ I found it helped to put one finger on the problem number on the test and one finger on the problem number on the bubble sheet before bubbling and to say in my head the answer choice on both the test and the bubble sheet ('E'.. 'E'..). I made myself take 5-10 minutes near the end of the test to double check my bubbling with the answers I circled. Another idea - to make sure you're circling the right answer in the test booklet - is write out the answer in the test booklet, box it, and then circle the multiple choice answer. As you're taking that five minutes to check your bubbling, as check that the answer you wrote out is the answer you circled.

mhazelm
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:33 pm

Re: Filling in the Bubbles

Postby mhazelm » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:03 pm

I've actually wondered if this is why my PGRE score came out SO low. I expected low, like in the 600-700 range, but not nearly as low as it was. Towards the end of the short study time I had I was scoring in the 700-800 on the practice tests, so it's a possible cause for my score (not that I'll ever know...).

I like the idea of checking - goes back to making sure you finish with enough time to spare, of course, so be careful while you're taking it in case you don't have time to go back and check.

sterculus
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:16 am

Re: Filling in the Bubbles

Postby sterculus » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:05 pm

I've developed a habit of checking problem number versus answer sheet number every 5-10 or so problems as I go along on standardized tests to make sure I don't accidentally do this (and if I do I can quickly correct it). It's a good habit to start on the practice tests if you can.

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quizivex
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Re: Filling in the Bubbles

Postby quizivex » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:06 am

Filling in the bubbles efficiently is important. Saving just two minutes can give you time for two extra problems, +20 points :D . Screwing up the order can ruin your score.

Nobody answers every question 1 to 100 in a clean sweep. I went through the problems in order, only answering the ones I knew immediately how to do. Then I went back (again in order) filling attacking the less obvious ones, or the ones that gave me trouble the first time... and did a few rounds like that. I think most people do something similar.

It is more time efficient and less error prone to circle the answers in your test booklet, and when you're almost done, fill in the bubbles in a sweep, than it is to fill bubbles after every problem. Either start filling in bubbles after your first round, or wait until a set time (like 10 min) before the test is over. ETS tells you not to do this, but as long as you don't wait till last minute and you have a digital watch to keep track of the time, you should be fine.

If you try to fill in the scantron as you go along, you'll most likely get in a habit of filling the bubbles below the last bubble and get thrown off when you skip a problem. Having to focus too hard on what number you're on and finessing around with the scantron, which is hard if you have to do the test on one of these where there's not enough room for the booklet and scantron, can be risky.

(After your "First round" just fill in skipped problems as you go along, since it'd be harder to scan through the test booklet and re-identify which ones were initially skipped.)

cato88
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Filling in the Bubbles

Postby cato88 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:42 am

That is a really good technique.

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Filling in the Bubbles

Postby matonski » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:54 am

quizivex wrote:Nobody answers every question 1 to 100 in a clean sweep. I went through the problems in order, only answering the ones I knew immediately how to do. Then I went back (again in order) filling attacking the less obvious ones, or the ones that gave me trouble the first time... and did a few rounds like that. I think most people do something similar.

This is something I've been wondering about as well. When to decide to skip something and when to decide to work through it. Up to now, I've been just skipping the ones I knew I couldn't do or I knew would take a long time for me to rederive what I need. But I'd dive into any others that I didn't immediately see a fast way of doing, but knew how to work it through. My reasoning has been that since it takes a certain amount of time to read a question and understand what it is asking, I might as well do it then instead of come back to it later and read it again. However, I do like your idea of doing multiple passes, making sure you get all the ones you can do immediately out of the way. I also like your idea of filling in all the bubbles later. I'll try it for the 4th and final practice test.

valloein
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Filling in the Bubbles

Postby valloein » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:04 pm

matonski wrote:I've taken 3 of the practice tests so far, and on each one, I've gotten a couple wrong simply because I messed up on filling in the bubble. Usually, I skipped a problem but forgot to skip a row on the answer sheet. Other times, I just bubbled in the wrong one even though I told myself that such and such was the answer. Obviously, I should just be more careful, but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and has any tips.


get thyself a new brain, i hear there are some cheap ones down at the thrift store :idea:




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