SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Dec. 6, 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.)

Yeah, go ahead and do this with your calculator and you’ll waste an enormous amount of time!  This kind of pattern question (review the topic on my free website or watch Video #8) is a test writer “time trap.”  Using your calculator will get the right answer but you’ll waste so much time that you’ll likely not be able to get to all of the other questions on that section of the test.  After all, this is the SAT Reasoning Test; so, let’s do a little thinking.  What’s the pattern?

The answer is B.  There are 25 pairs of odd and even numbers from 1 to 50 (1 and 2, 3 and 4,…49 and 50).  Each pair has a difference of 1.  We are all done!

If you want to do it with your calculator, go ahead.  The other students will be waiting for you at the finish line.  You have to practice in order to recognize the different kinds of questions on the test and the best approach for each of them.  Keep in mind that this is a test of math skills, strategies, and speed.

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 D.  What a terrible test question!  It is very easy because it doesn’t have anything to do with Science Reasoning.  The test writer tells you the “shadow with a length equal to the object’s height” and the stake is 1.0 meters high.  All you need to do is find “1.0” somewhere in one of the tables.  All this test question measures is how fast you are at finding “1.0” somewhere in one of the tables.  (That’s like the SAT question today–it’s a speed trap!)  The Science Test is especially challenging when it comes to finishing on time.  You have to practice doing the test quickly.

Here’s a great strategy for the Science Test to pick up your speed.  Do NOT do the science passages in the order they are in the test booklet.  The seven passages include: 3 Reading Data passages, 3 Understanding Experiments passages, and 1 Disputing Scientists passages.  (my titles)  They will appear in random order in your test booklet.  Find and do the data passages first, then do the experiment passages, and always save the disputing scientists until last.  Read more about this issue on my free website and take a look at the science section of Video #10: The ACT Test.

It’s Friday and time to relax.  If you are taking the SAT in the morning, read my blog about the “Night Before the Test.”  In summary, stay home and relax.  Get your clothes, ticket, calculator, pencils, etc. organized.  Afterward, read a book or watch a movie.  Don’t risk hearing some bad news; so, stay off the phone.  Also, be sure to read my former blog about what to eat for breakfast.  (Do that now because you’ll probably need to make a trip to the grocery store.)  Research says it can make a difference of about 40 points!  The bottom line is stay away from anything you’d find on an Egg McMuffin with cheese and sausage.

Send me an email with any questions.

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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