Mark in the question book

When grades are on the line, smart people write and mark while they read. You should mark in the question book as you roll rapidly (but in a controlled fashion) through the multiple-choice questions in Section I of the AP exam. Here are some pointers to follow to make the process faster and easier for you:

- If you're sure that you've locked into the right answer after reading both the question and all the answers twice, just circle that for-sure answer in the question book and carefully blacken its oval on the Scantron answer form.

- If you can eliminate some but not all of the choices, cross out the answers you know are wrong in the question book.

- If you have one or more wrong answers crossed out, mark your best guess for the answer in the question book.

- If you don't have a clue and can't eliminate any of the choices, put a zero next to the question and don't fill in the Scantron sheet for that question. Then put a light mark opposite the Scantron number of the question you're not answering so that you don't accidentally put the answer to a known question in the wrong place, which can screw up every answer that comes after it. (Make sure you completely erase any light marks on the answer sheet before you hand in the answers.)

When you've made it through all the questions, you should still have time to go back to the beginning and take another look at the questions you skipped. First focus on the questions with the most eliminated wrong answers; these are the questions you're closest to being sure about. When you're through with the easier ones, go back and do the tougher ones. If you have time, give a last once-over to all the questions.


Don't linger on any question after you've marked it. Instead, pause just long enough to make sure the mark is in the right place. Also, go with your first hunch unless you actually have a reason to change. Research shows that if you can't come up with any additional information, your first hunch is usually the best bet.

Getting all the way to the end quickly, after marking off the trouble spots, gives you an advantage in terms of both time sequence and answer elimination. You'll actually pick up some history just from the juxtaposition of topics on the exam. You may be able to eliminate some wrong answers from early questions based on what you've noticed on questions closer to the end of the test. Also, answering later questions helps jog your memory.

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