Should You Change Answers on Multiple-Choice Tests, or “Stick With Your Gut?”

Should you change your answers on test questions?

I’m going to spoil it right up front: In general, the answer is yes.

Research has been conducted multiple times over the course of the last seventy years on this problem, and the results are clear. Most answer changes are from wrong to right, which means that most people who do choose to change answers will actually improve their test scores.

This fact goes completely against what people think, though. Test-takers commonly get the advice to, “go with your gut.”

“Don’t change your answer – you’re probably just worriedly second-guessing yourself.”

Teachers, parents, – even SAT prep guides have given this advice out for years.

And the most interesting – and, kinda sad – part is that, even though I just told you this – even though I can and will point you to the actual research backing it up – and even if you believe me, you’re not likely to change your behavior.

In this video, I’ll explain why that is.

If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.

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Video Notes

Should You Change Answers on Multiple-Choice Tests, or "Stick With Your Gut?"

Here’s a Pinterest-worthy image for sharing this video 🙂

What about you? Do you tend to change answers on your tests, or do you tend to stick with your first impression?

Also, just a reminder – I’ll be in Japan for the next three weeks! While there will be videos coming out, I won’t be as fast to respond on social channels or email during the trip.

If you liked this video, subscribe on YouTube to stay updated and get notified when new ones are out!

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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4 Comments on "Should You Change Answers on Multiple-Choice Tests, or “Stick With Your Gut?”"

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Not me, changed my answers and got a nasty C. Had the opportunity to review the test and saw that at least 10 of the questions I changed were from right to wrong.


Whoa this is pretty nuts. I went through an expensive SAT Prep learning center course when I was a senior in high school and they went with the conventional advice; don’t change your answer. This is also particularly mind blowing because in my experience, it’s hard to remember all of the decisions made on a test after the fact. If it was a test that I would have changed my answers on, it would most definitely be remembered as a chaotic failure. After the grades come in, I usually forget the experience completely. Something to keep in mind for the next exam!

Keep up the good work.

Alexander maruly

Great article here for students! The “should you change your answer” thing is VERY interesting. I use to always change my answer and for the most part, I changed it to the correct choice. This is why this resonated so much with me.



This was really helpful, I guess I did it the wrong way all this time. I’ll make sure to check my answers on my next test. Thanks!

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