Let’s face it, the FSOT expects you to know just about everything, which is impossible. You must master areas in World Politics, History, Economics, English, Mathematics, Foreign Policy, etc. So, more than likely, there are going to be a couple of questions that you will have no idea on how to answer.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a couple of tips in trying to figure out the answer. Because we will all face this sort of situation and be left in a state or requiring to guess on a couple of the questions, we have provided you with some tips and statistics to help you make the best decision you can when you are ultimately stumped.
FSOT Question Tip #6: Check for Language Consistency
One subtle tip to use if you are in a bind is to check for language consistency amongst the options. In certain cases, only one option would be grammatically correct and therefore this option is the most probably answer. Example:
A FSOT Prep reader has an ______?
A. Good vocabulary.
B. Higher level education.
C. Awesome chance to pass the FSOT.
D. Winning smile.
Notice that option C is the only one that would be grammatically correct and therefore is the most likely answer. This type of question/mistake happens because the test maker will select a right answer and then come up with other options without placing those options into the question. While many would say that the ACT should know better, myself and others have seen this happen in a couple of the options, just not all of them.
FSOT Question Tip #5: Absolute Qualifiers are Usually Wrong
Absolute qualifiers are “All, none, Every, etc…” In most cases, an absolute qualifier inside of a question is a quick way to make the option wrong. As you read the option, your mind may start to register that it is correct, but miss the word “every time,” which might not be correct. The use of these words is a tricky way for the tester to not only test your initial knowledge but your attention to detail. Example:
Which of the following is true?
A. Every president has served either 4 or 8 years.
B. Theodore Roosevelt used to dress in Abercrombie and Fitch clothing.
C. No president has ever served longer than 8 years.
D. Every President has made the White House his home.
If you answered B, then you are correct. Besides the fact that the others broke the rule of having absolute qualifiers inside them, Roosevelt did actually wear Abercrombie and Fitch clothing; however, back them A&F was a high end safari clothing company and not the company that we know today.
FSOT Question Tip #4: Eliminate Extreme Answers
Most of the time, the tester will want a couple of the options to be very close to another. That way, if you “generally” know the answer, you still won’t be able to get it right. Therefore, you may find a couple of options through the test that are extreme and not like the others.
When this occurs, there is a high chance that the extreme option is not the right option. Example:
Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world on what year?
Columbus did indeed reach the new world in 1492, however, even if you didn’t know this fact, you could remove 1405 and increase your chances of getting the answer right. Instead of a 25% of getting it righty, you could have a 33.3% of getting it right.
FSOT Question Tip #3: Opposites Usually Matter
The next two tips actually come from a previous ACT writer who made the next two observations on their testing statistics. In this particular option, the tester admitted that in most cases, the right answer usually lied within on of the two opposite options.
It’s a trick that tester creators like to use so as to throw you off and ensure you can make the right decision. Example:
During the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes argued that the government should do what?
A. Meet the loss of aggregate demand.
B. Not meet the loss of aggregate demand.
C. Maintain patience and allow the market to correct itself.
D. Reduce currency creation in order to help reduce inflation.
If you answered A, then you would be correct. Notice that both A and B are opposites of each other. This is a good sign that C and D are just fillers and are probably not correct. In this example, if you knew the works of Keynes, you would know that an option discuss Aggregate Demand would probably be correct. But because of the opposites, then you would have to understands Keynes work, the definition of Aggregate Demand and then make the right decision.
FSOT Question Tip #2: Got nothing, then guess option C
Another important observation made by a previous ACT test creator was that statistically speaking, option C had the highest percentage of being right. It wasn’t much of a difference but it still had the most probable chance of being right.
Therefore, if you are stuck and none of the tips above will help you, then you have the highest chances of being right by selecting option C.
FSOT Question Tip #1: These Tips are not facts but Generalization of Previous Statistics
We just want to highlight here that these tips are not law and sometimes the test taker may make an extreme option the right one, or an absolute qualifier as the correct answer. These only serve as a mechanism you can use to help increase your chances if you need to guess.
Remember, even unanswered questions will be wrong. So, if you don’t know the answer, guessing is better than not answering. But use the above tips, and you can improve your odds and increase your chances of passing the dreaded FSOT.
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