SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Sept. 26, 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 D.  I decided to play a little game with the SAT folks this morning and see if I could get the answer right without reading the sentence.  My guess was correct.  Keep in mind I did this for fun and am not suggesting you do this on test day.  But let’s see what I did because it was a very educated and not a random guess.  It was based on something you should learn about the test: when there are two blanks for a Sentence Completion Question, the words are related.  Answers A, B, and C aren’t closely related.  The D words mean about the same thing.  The E words are opposites.  I took a lucky shot between D and E and got it correct.

Then I looked at the sentence.  The topic of the sentence was about the actor lending (a key word) something to his roles that was consistent with what he personally “brought” to them.  My prediction was that the correct answer had to be words that meant about the same thing.  That is Answer D.

If you didn’t know the word gravitas, think of its root, “grav”.  It is related to gravity.  Gravity causes objects to be heavy or have weight.  If the actor brings heaviness or weight to a role, he brings seriousness.  The second word, dignity, is similar to seriousness; that is something he would lend to the role.  Boom, done, let’s move on.

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.  You need to pick a sentence that is consistent with the material in the first paragraph and is supported by the second one.  Answers G and H are completely off topic.  J adds to the story because the topic isn’t about a “remarkable job.”  F reflects on his behavior that is described in the first paragraph and then explains it in the second.  We are all finished and ready to move on to the next question.

What you should learn from this question is that sometimes the ACT questions are not simply grammar related but have to do with composition.  In similar cases, you will need to read a few sentences before and after adding the new sentence.  You will need a context.  However, you certainly don’t need to read the entire passage first as the test writers tell you to do in the “directions.”  That’s simply nuts!  For example, in this case, you’ve already read the first paragraph by the time you get to #2.  Just reading the next sentence; it answers the question.  That sentence explains the is behavior that is described in the first paragraph rather than describe his “remarkable job.”  Shazam!

Thanks for tuning in today.  I hope this was helpful.  If so, let your friends know about my blog.  Share the “Wiz-dom.”

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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