If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to sat.collegeboard.org 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:
http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130430 (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 E. There’s nothing wrong with the sentence. Because you are expecting a mistake, you will often work hard trying to find one and make a mistake in the process. That is, you’ll find one when one doesn’t exist. Remember there will be sentences that have no error.
You could have changed “but a” to “but is a” and the revision is fine. However, there’s nothing wrong with “but a” in the first place. Keep in mind, you are finding errors, not places that could be rewritten! If there is nothing wrong with the underlined words in the first place, pick”no error” even if you can see a way it can be improved.
Let’s take a look at the ACT question.
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.)
The answer is J. The times of the day, A-E, show on both tables that the lengths of the shadows change throughout the day. They are long in the morning, are very short at noon, and then are long again late in the day. So, you need to find a graph showing that length changes as the time of day progresses. That will be a graph that is lowest in the middle and high on both ends. Only J does that.
As usual, this science question is not about specific knowledge that you needed to know before the test. The ACT folks will always explain the science and give you the data you need. The test is trying to find out if you know how to read and interpret charts and graphs. That is the skill you need to practice. One challenge is that there are often data presentations (charts, figures, graphs, etc.) that are very unusual. Get your hands on some practice materials and you’ll see uncommon ways to present data. Just be prepared to read and interpret these presentations. Don’t be intimidated; it will just take a few seconds to figure out their figures.
SAT day is coming and you’ll need to do some special preparation in addition to practicing questions. Research suggests your breakfast will affect your score. Here’s what you should eat: granola cereal with yogurt and a banana on top; low-sugar fruit juice; a slice of ham or unbreaded chicken (if you aren’t a vegetarian) or some other low fat source of protein; and some fresh fruit. Stay away from greasy meat (sausage and bacon), eggs, cheese, and heavy breads (bagels and muffins). Don’t drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages like 5-hour Energy Drink, Red Bull and all their cousins which are sources of caffeine and lots of sugar. You are allowed one cup of coffee if you normally have coffee every day. As a snack at break time, eat a granola bar or a little bag of dried fruit or nuts and wash it down with some water or low-sugar juice like cranberry or cranapple juice. (Avoid all sources of high fructose corn syrup.) Go to the grocery store if you must!! It will be worth the trip.
Have a great day.