I believe everyone has a tolerance for this sort of thing. It doesn’t matter what kind of test it is, as long as we’re talking about the multiple choice segment of it. It could be a small-time quiz, a Scan-Tron test, a state standardized assessment, or even the SATs, but one thing’s for certain:
It’s always scary when you get a few of the same letter in a row.
Yep, you could be cruising along, casually marking down B, A, B, D, C, and looking for the fun words that are occasionally spelled, but then all of a sudden, you get B, B, B, D, D. Well, that looks wrong, doesn’t it? Then, your mind drives you back to look at the questions, to confirm their correctness. Even still, this sort of thing plants the seed of doubt within your mind. Now, there are a few variations on this, so let’s list them! Yay, lists!
- All-in-a-row – Described above, where the same letter appears over and over again as the seemingly correct answer. Argh, patterns!
- Bouncing – When the answers seem to go from one end of the spectrum to another (i.e. getting A, B, C, D, C, B, A all in a row), causing a bit of a mind hiccup, where the pattern removes us from the test for a moment. More agonizing on bubble-fill tests.
- Pictionary – Where you think you see some form of picture within the shaded or unshaded area. This doesn’t happen often, but it can be amusing.
Now, there’s not a whole lot that can be done from the test-taker’s point of view. They just need to know the stuff to finish the test without getting wrapped up in self-doubt about how the bubbles play out. I suppose this problem is alleviated to a slight degree when you only let your mind’s eye “see” one question bubble at a time.
However, I still believe in going with your gut on things. Second guessing, at least for me, is always problematic, unless I’m 100% certain that I’m wrong and can fix it.
Oh yeah, up top I mentioned how we all have a tolerance for this sort of thing. For me, it takes about 3 in a row before I get antsy. I’d like to know if you readers share my sentiments, have your own annoying test minutiae, or think my brain is full of cheese for even considering this as an annoyance.
Let Filling In The Same Letter Multiple Times On A Test Die