SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Jan. 15, 2014

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. (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 B.  The tense is wrong because the rest of the sentence is about him preparing for something he would be doing in the future.  Therefore, you need “was given” to be in the future tense.  Fortunately this test section doesn’t require you to fix the problem, just identify it.

If you needed to fix it, you could change the verb to “would be giving,” or “was to give.”  Either one would be fine.  You have to make it reflect something he would be doing in the future.

Take a look at the Writing section of my free website and review the 900 series of videos.  They will provide you a list of the most common grammar and composition problems you’ll be seeing on the SAT and ACT.  You need to review them and practice with actual SAT questions.  Get your hands on the Official SAT Study Guide and/or Real ACT Prep Guide.  All the other prep books have fake SATs and ACTs in them.  You don’t know if their tests are identical to real tests or not.  The two recommended books only contain actual tests.  Now you know that you are working with the real thing!  Get started.

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 F.  As always, if you use my PICK strategy, this question, as with all the questions on the ACT and SAT reading tests, will be much easier.  For each answer, ask yourself a series of questions related to the Wizard’s Checklist.  The I in PICK stands for Insertable.  Ask yourself, “Does this answer add to or disagree with the passage?” If so, it must be wrong.  Answers G, H, and J are all easy to eliminate because they are not Insertable; they each disagree with the passage.  G is out because lines 77-8 say the criminal and civil procedures are always the same.  H disagrees with lines 85-7 and J disagrees with lines 78-81.  All done.

The problem most students have is that they over-analyze the answers on the reading test.  In effect, they play the “English teacher game.”  Relating the answer to other knowledge or personal experience, etc. is wonderful in school but it will hurt your reading score.  The best answer must be based solely on the passage.  Thinking too much costs you extra time and you’ll often talk yourself into the wrong answer!  You should simply stick to the Checklist.  Shazaam!  The wrong answers will jump right off the page.

Many of you are in the middle of final exams.  I wish you the best of luck.

I want to thank the members of BSA Troop 405 in Ft. Pierce, FL  for helping out with letting people know we’ll be doing a presentation next Thursday regarding college admissions and test prep.  Anyone wanting further details should send me an email.

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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