I just checked my October SAT scores and discovered that, as Debbie predicted, I apparently failed to answer an entire chunk of questions without knowing it:
Moreover, as Debbie also predicted, the questions I didn't answer were (C. says) on the 2nd Writing Section, which is the last section of the entire 11-Section test.*
Debbie really has become the expert on the actual, real-world SAT: what it's like to study for it, what it's like to take it, and even what your score means before the College Board tells you what your score means. (I didn't believe her! Every time the subject of my Writing score came up, Debbie would say: "Section 10. You didn't answer all the questions." I thought that was nuts! Of course I answered all the questions! I obsessively checked and double-checked to make sure I answered all the questions! Wrong.)
For the record: omitting four questions while checking and double-checking to make sure you haven't omitted any questions is not a "careless" error.
Omitting four questions while checking and double-checking to make sure you haven't omitted any questions is a maxed-out biology error. Omitting 4 questions in the final section of the test is the same phenomenon as a runner
By the way, in the run-up to the test, it occurred to me that I needed to start running again. I'm thinking aerobic conditioning would have to help. But I didn't do it.
For parents whose kids will be taking the SAT soon, the bubbling issue is major: it's the reason kids need effective test prep. The SAT is too long and has too many problems jammed into too little time and space** to be considered a test of content knowledge. The SAT tests test prep as well as content knowledge.
High school students need effective test prep for the same reason runners need effective coaching: they need to learn strategy and pacing, especially on the math sections.
I'm a 10
May 4, 2010: mandatory bubbling session
March 8, 2011: bubble this
April 13, 2011: progress report, part 2
May 7, 2011: the return of bubbling errors
* 10 sections that count towards your score plus 1 experimental section that does not count