Grid-ins cover the same topics and ask the same kind of
questions as multiple-choice questions. They just don’t have any
answer choices. You have to work out the answer yourself and then
“grid” it into a special answer-box thingy.
As you can see, grid-in instructions are a little intense.
Here’s a summary:
- The computer that grades the test
can’t read anything but the ovals, so you don’t have to write
anything in the spaces at the top. However, filling in the spaces
at the top might help you to avoid making careless mistakes. So
just write it out.
- The grid cannot accommodate any number longer than
four digits, any decimal or fraction that includes more than three
numbers, or any negative signs. Here’s another way of looking
at that: If the answer you come up with has more than four digits,
is a fraction or decimal with more than three digits, or is a negative number,
then your answer’s wrong.
- You must express a number as either a fraction or
a decimal. It doesn’t matter which you choose.
- You must transform all mixed numbers to fraction
form. For example, 41
/2 must be written
as 9/2 or
4.5. If you were to try to write 41
/2, the grading
machine would read it as 41/
2, and you’d lose a point.
- Sometimes the answer you come to will actually be
a range of answers, such as “any number between 4 and 5.”
When that happens, you could write in any number that fits the criteria—4.6,
But no mixed numbers.
Do Not Work Backward
Since there aren’t any answer choices for grid-ins, you
can’t work backward. To answer these questions, you have to know
the concepts and how to solve them directly. Luckily, that’s exactly
what the rest of this section covers.