Order of Difficulty
Order of Difficulty
In each group of questions types, questions are ordered by difficulty. The first third of the questions are generally easy, the second third are a little harder, and the last third are difficult. So in the sections that are entirely Multiple-Choice the first third of the section will be easy, the scond third medium, and the last third hard. In the section that has both Multiple-Choice and Grid-ins, the pattern will start over for each group of questions. Knowing where you are in the order of difficulty can help you in a variety of ways:
  • On Individual Questions. If you think you’ve got the answer to an easy question, don’t second-guess yourself: You probably do. If you’re looking at a difficult question, though, you might want to check your answer just to make sure you haven’t fallen into a trap.
  • Overall Strategy. Unless you’re going for a 700 or above, you don’t have to worry about answering every question on the test. You can use the order of difficulty to help you focus on answering the questions that you can. You should, for instance, answer every question in the first half of a timed math section. But if you’re worried about time, you can probably get by without spending any real time at all on the final two questions.
  • Pacing. You can also use the order of difficulty to manage your pacing. When you’re given 25 minutes to answer 20 math questions in a timed section, you shouldn’t just think to yourself that for every five minutes you should answer four questions. It takes more time to answer difficult problems than it does to answer easy problems. So in the early questions, you should be going faster than four questions answered per five minutes so you can save up time to figure out the harder problems.
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