Answers change during exams. Always rely on your first impression?

You know the next situation? With a multiple-choice exam, you change the answer to a question at the last minute. Afterwards, it turns out that you had the question right at first, which means that you are now missing out on points. You are left with a terrible feeling, cause you changed an answer you actually knew was right in the first place anyway. What is the deal with that anyway? Do you have to follow your ‘gut feeling’ or does it work differently?

Recent U.S. research addressed the question of the situations when it is wise to adjust your answers to a multiple-choice test. It was striking that when students were sure of their answer and did not change it in a second round, they actually chose the right answer more often. For students who were not sure about the answer in the first round and who were just guessing, the chance of a wrong result was greater if they decided not to adjust their answer in the second round.

Conclusion

If you have a good command of the examination material and you are pretty sure of your answer, your first impression is usually correct.
Mark the questions/answers you are not sure about. Take the marked questions to a second round and see if you can come up with new insights that will lead to a better answer.

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