SAT Question of the Day & ACT QotD: Oct. 29, 2013

If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email. If you are seeing this in my blog, do the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link: (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.)

The answer is A.  What does the topic of the sentence tell us about the subject of the sentence?  The actor’s popularity was “striking and unexpected.”  We need answers that we would predict that are consistent with that topic before looking at the answers.  Often it is easiest use words in the sentence to use as our predictions.  “Unexpected” decline makes sense for the first blank and “striking” makes sense for the second blank.  Those predictions lead us to Answer A.

Because there are two blanks, you should have started with one of the two blanks to eliminate as many answers as possible before considering the second blank.  That simple strategy saves time.  For example, using our prediction of “unexpected” for the first blank, we eliminate B and E.  So, when we look at the second blank there are only A, C, and D to consider.  Had we started with the second blank, B, C, and D could have been eliminated before considering the first blank.  We would have saved valuable seconds by using this strategy.  Seconds add up to minutes!  Give it a try.

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

ACT Question of the Day: Use your “back” button to return to my website after reading the ACT Question of the Day.

The answer is E.  The ACT test writer’s explanation is certainly overly complicated.  I’m confused by just reading it!

The process is simple: divide 18.75 by .75.  The answer is 25, E.  Converting 3/4 to .75 made it easier to use your calculator.

I did it in my head.  The information says the maximum serving size is 3/4 cup.  That means for every 3 cups, there are 4 servings.  I divided 3 cups into the 18 3/4 which goes over 6 times.  6 times 4 servings is 24; therefore, the answer has to be greater than 24, which left me with 25.

As always, I’m not concerned which of these two ways you did this problem.  It isn’t even “wrong” to do it the test writer’s way.  That’s three ways to do the problem.  What’s ultimately important is you need to get a right answer.  My guess is the calculator process I described is quickest for most students.  However, for me, I did my mental math faster than most people could punch that many buttons on their keypads.  Keep practicing and you’ll soon discover which way you should be doing questions based on which one is fastest for you.

Enjoy the rest of the week.  It’s time to put in your last minute push for this Saturday’s SAT.  Be sure you are practicing my reading strategies and reviewing your math weaknesses.

The SAT & ACT 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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