ACT/SAT Red Flags: When an Answer Might be the Wrong Choice

Don't make the wrong choice on the SAT or ACT.

Flickr user Rachel Titiriga

The questions on the ACT and SAT exams are intentionally written to challenge test-takers. More often than not, the answer will not be what it seems. You have to be aware of the many red flags that are scattered across the test paper so you don’t make the wrong choice. So what should you look for?

All of the Above / None of the Above

Catch-all answers like “all of the above” or “none of the above” can be tempting. It’s especially tempting if you’re not 100% sure what the right answer is. However, it’s important to be wary of that temptation, because catch-all answers can lure you down the wrong path. That’s not to say that “all/none of the above” will never be the right answer, just double-check before you bubble in.

The ‘Why’ v/s ‘What’ v/s ‘How’ Question

Some passages are deceptively easy to read through and understand. Thus, students rush through the passage and get on with answering the questions just as quickly. However, the tricky part lies in how the question is framed. It is important to take time to read the question carefully to determine exactly what it asks. Is the question about what happened, why it happened or how it happened? You might find all three choices in the answers, but to get the right answer, you must first understand what is asked in the question.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!