How to Get Better Test Scores Through Confidence Tracking (Ep. 78)

If you want to get a better grade on your next test or quiz, you should write a number between 1 and 5 beside each question.

This episode of the podcast will explain why.

A while ago, I created a video about why changing test answers is usually a good idea, which was a conclusion supported by the research that was available at the time.

Now, there’s some new research that suggests there’s a better method to answering the question of whether or not you should change an answer on a test question.

This research was conducted in part by Justin Couchman, an assistant professor of psychology at Albright College, and it analyzed how students’ “metacognition” – their ability to make conclusions about their own thoughts and decisions – affected their test scores.

The study’s method for doing this involved having students rate their confidence on each individual test question answering it. By analyzing how confident they were in their answers without a long delay, students were able to make better decisions later on whether they should change each answer.

In this episode, Justin explains the study in more detail, dives into the psychology of why we tend to inaccurately judge our performance when there a time delay, and offers some practical advice for using these new findings to become a better test taker.

Things mentioned in this episode:

  • Justin’s article explaining his research on changing answers and confidence tracking
  • My video on changing test answers
  • Endowment bias
  • Monty Hall Problem

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.

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