**Guess****- to form an opinion based on insufficient information; to arrive at a conclusion by conjecture, chance or intuition.**

**is often discouraged and downplayed as a means to determining a solution to a problem.**

*Guessing*Personally, I think it's a legitimate option. Looking at test-taking strategy courses and websites, you will find plenty of math evidence to show that the odds are better if you

**than if you leave an answer blank.**

*guess*In most cases, you get 0 points for leaving an answer blank, and you will definitely get more than 0 if you

**the right answer.**

*guess*If there are 5 options, then you have a 1:5 chance (20%) of getting the answer if you

**. And you can increase your odds if you can eliminate several of the 5 options as impossible or unlikely.**

*guess*Some tests penalize you for

**and getting the wrong answer, but the penalties are unlikely to equal the value of getting the occasional answer correct from**

*guessing***. To determine the exact value, we'd need to know more information about the type of test and the penalty strategy. For example,**

*guessing***on an essay question is much more complex ...**

*guessing*But let's forget the "tests" and talk about real life instead. Do you

**very often?**

*guess*I

**you do. For example, we**

*guess***about what to order in a restaurant - choosing something that sounds good. If you've had it before by the same chef at the same place, you might be making a an**

*guess***, but it's still a bit of a gamble compared to walking down a buffet line or sticking your finger into the cooking pot at home ... hence the plaintive cries of "I**

*educated guess**don't know what to get!*"

Let's take another term called

**Maybe using this word helps a bit. It certainly sounds better, with a dollop of**

*guesstimate.**making the*

**estimate***seem more credible. It allows us to use our previous experience, a bit of evidence and some reasoning to construct an*

**guess***.*

**educated guess**I

**if you want to learn more about**

*guess***, you could buy a book on the subject from Amazon. My**

*guesstimating***is that it would cost you about $10-15 dollars and be delivered in 2-5 days, right to your home, or in a minute or two to your Kindle.**

*guess*I found another book whose title can be roughly summarized as "

*How Many Licks on an Ice Cream Cone, or how to estimate d*** near anything*". That's

**- number of licks on a cone...**

*guessing*After some consideration, I came up with an example where guessing causes nothing but grief ...

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