## GUESSING THROUGH THE SAT

*Editors Note: This article by*

**Harmanpreet S. (’15)**is an exploration of the SAT and the chances of the possible outcomes of randomly guessing every question on the SAT.What if a student were to guess and randomly choose the answer on every multiple-choice question on the SAT? Now, what if everyone who took the SAT did this? How many students would get perfect scores?

None. Absolutely zero. Sounds crazy, right? Certainly at least one person would get a perfect score, right? Well, no, and here’s why: there are 158 multiple-choice questions on the SAT, and a random guess has a 20% chance of being right.

None. Absolutely zero. Sounds crazy, right? Certainly at least one person would get a perfect score, right? Well, no, and here’s why: there are 158 multiple-choice questions on the SAT, and a random guess has a 20% chance of being right.

So, the probability of getting all of the questions right is:

In layman’s terms, a student has a one out of twenty-seven quinquatrigintillion chance of getting a perfect score.

Here’s an analogy:

If we made a computer take the SAT 1 million times a day, for five billion years, the chance of any of the SATs taken resulting in a perfect score on just the math section would be about 0.0001%.

**1/544 * 1/567 * 1/547****≈****1/(2.7 * 10110)**In layman’s terms, a student has a one out of twenty-seven quinquatrigintillion chance of getting a perfect score.

Here’s an analogy:

If we made a computer take the SAT 1 million times a day, for five billion years, the chance of any of the SATs taken resulting in a perfect score on just the math section would be about 0.0001%.

Wow. Here’s a tip: don’t guess your way through the SAT. Study and prepare!

I was particularly interested in this

I was particularly interested in this

*What If*because I will be taking the SAT soon (in May), and I don’t feel prepared for taking it at all. After reading this*What If*, I will certainly be increasing the time and effort I put into preparing for the SAT! I found it very interesting how low of a chance a student would have of getting a perfect score by just guessing. Before reading this, I thought the chance of getting such a score in such circumstances would be much higher, albeit still nearly impossible. I found this*What If*to be very clear and straightforward, so I wasn’t confused about anything. Based on prior knowledge, I know that about 100 billion people have lived on the earth from the beginning of time. So, even if every human alive in history was to take the SAT and guess for every multiple-choice question, it would still be unnervingly unlikely that someone would get a perfect score!http://what-if.xkcd.com/archive/

http://images.sodahead.com/polls/002260503/1620742673_532dd66d_mind_blown_xlarge.jpeg

http://images.sodahead.com/polls/002260503/1620742673_532dd66d_mind_blown_xlarge.jpeg