Jan 10 SAT & ACT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130110  (This link takes you to today’s question.  If you use my archive, you will see the question related to my SAT explanation for that date.  However in my first few blogs, I didn’t use a date in my link and you won’t get the proper question.  Sorry.)

The answer is A. You could have certainly done this SAT question (or a similar ACT question since they sometimes ask very similar questions) the “math teacher” way that is explained by the SAT test writer today. However, if you are stuck, there are other ways to do it.

Probably the easiest way to do it is plug in the answers that you are given. For example, try A. If p>100, try 200 percent. Then 200 percent of 75 is 150; so, that works, making us think this is probably the right answer. We can eliminate all the other answers since none of them work. For example, answer B is less than 75; so, try 50 percent. 50 percent of 75 is 37.5 and that is too small. Eliminate B. None of the other answers work either.

Another simple way to do it is if you understand percents and do this question in your head. For 75 to get greater, you would understand it has to be multiplied by a percent that is greater than 100. If you multiply anything by 100 percent, it just stays the same; so, the answer has to be greater than 100. To me, that’s by far the quickest way to do the questions.

Remember the SAT is the “Reasoning Test,” and sometimes you don’t need to do any math.  You just need to do a little thinking which, like in this case, can save you lots of time.

Let’s see what the ACT folks have in store for us today.

http://www.act.org/qotd/ (The ACT staff does not put a date on their questions so if you click on an archived blog, you’ll get today’s question and the old explanation.  Sorry.  The SAT staff has dated their questions; so, the archive is helpful.  The ACT folks simply don’t do that.)

I’ve only been doing this blog for a few weeks and this is the second time that the ACT staff has repeated a question.  The first time I saw a repeated question, I thought they made a mistake.  Now I believe this is a pattern.  I can’t believe they don’t have enough old questions that they have to do this.  (Come on guys, be a little more helpful and give us some new questions.)  Maybe they are still on Christmas vacation or it is too cold in the cornfields of Iowa to get up at midnight and change the question.  (ACT is based in Iowa.)

The answer is K.  Their answer explains the “math teacher” approach.  Mine is simpler.  They said that BC is 10 units and asked the question in inches.  I’m all done; there’s no way to know.  I would have to know the length of BC in inches.  That makes it impossible to calculate.

Of course, as they have explained, I’d also have to know the height in inches but I don’t even have to worry about that since I’ve already answered the question.

Again, like the SAT explanation, they do the math but sometimes it is easier and quicker to answer the questions by just thinking and saving the wear and tear on your calculator battery!

I hope my SAT and ACT Question of the Day strategies and explanations are helpful and, if so, spread the word. Tell your social media friends.

If you are taking the January SAT, time is running short. I recommend you watch my online Tips and Tricks videos to help you prepare. It only costs $3 to watch an hour of my best test-taking techniques for taking the SAT and ACT tests.

A special reminder to my Kissimmee students: Be sure to remind your friends about our upcoming class on the 19th. Do your assignment and email me so I know you’ll be attending.

The Wizard

About Bob Alexander

Bob has been a professional educator starting with teaching biology, becoming a school administrator, and then working as an education lobbyist in Washington, DC. He got his start in national testing by becoming a consulting test writer, later joining Kaplan as a director, and finally starting his own business in 1995. He has written numerous books, consulted for school districts and colleges, developed his website and been featured on a DVD set. He offers SAT and ACT prep classes and tutors individuals and small groups of students in central Florida.
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