What Could Possibly Be Good About a Wrong Answer?

There are only two types of answers on standardized tests – right and wrong. And while that fact is indisputable and obvious, one should also consider that there actually may be more gained from a wrong answer than from a right answer. It is a distinguishing characteristic of a great tutor that he or she can recognize opportunities in both cases.

These opportunities include:

  • The opportunity to praise and encourage a student who answers a question correctly
  • The opportunity to remove artificial barriers by providing questions that might exceed the difficulty level one might ordinarily expect to encounter
  • The opportunity to understand the method used by a student to arrive at a correct answer
  • The opportunity to teach, explain, encourage, motivate and console a student who answers a question incorrectly

What are some of the reasons students answer a question incorrectly? There are many:

  • Carelessness
  • Nervousness
  • Lack of content knowledge
  • Lack of comprehension
  • Lack of understanding of the question
  • Lack of careful reading skill
  • Weakness in vocabulary

Great tutors seek to determine the cause of an incorrect answer, to identify the teaching opportunity and then to impart the appropriate lesson. Chyten’s study guides such as Mastering the ISEE/SSAT, Mastering the ACT and Mastering the SAT provide countless opportunities to impart not only ordinary lessons but also unique lessons that may change the way students think of tests forever. For example, Chyten students are taught to recognize the subtle relationships that exist between questions and answers and those that exist within a single set of answers. In doing so Chyten creates opportunities to tear down walls that have long stood in the way of extraordinary personal accomplishments on standardized tests. In writing Chyten’s Mastering series of study manuals, these factors were considered to be of the highest importance.