Question of the Day (SAT & ACT): Nov. 9, 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.  This sure is a fun question.  It exemplifies some of the things you really have to remember on test day.  First, the test writers love to test “multiplication by 0.”  They sneak it onto practically every test.  You know that whenever you multiply by 0 the answer (product) has to be 0 no matter how many other numbers are involved and what those numbers are.  So, when they said the “product,” and you knew one of the original numbers was 0, you knew the sum, product, and average was 0.  The second thing that is being tested here is the average/arithmetic mean is the balancing point.  (Be sure to watch my math video on the home page.)  Because the mean is 0 and another number is -5, the third number had to balance the -5 deficit from the mean (0).  The answer had to be a surplus of +5.  All done.  Of course, you could have done the calculation the way the test writer explains it, but why waste time?

Another way you could have done it is, realizing the mean is 0, you could have tried the answers.  Only D would have worked because it gives you a sum of the three digits of 0 which results in a mean of 0.

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

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

I hope you didn’t follow the misleading “directions” that you’ll see on the ACT English Test.  They tell you to read the entire passage and then go back and answer the questions.  Who are these nimnos who give such terrible advice?  Just be glad you don’t have them for test prep teachers!  Completely disregard what they say about this approach to the test.  Simply do the questions as you come to them.  For this example, just scan down until you find #11.

The answer is A.  “Who” refers to “executives” who are people.  Therefore, the relative pronoun “who” is correct.  The other answers create grammar mistakes.  “Which” would refer to non-humans.  “Having” creates a clause that requires commas.  “As” is a stupid answer because it creates nonsense.  (The test writers ran out of reasonable wrong answers and had to put something in for Answer D!)

Congrats! You spent some of your Saturday prepping for the tests.  Enjoy your day and I hope if you are a football fan, your team wins unless they are playing against mine!  Go, Noles.  Sorry Wake Forest fans, I think you are in for a bad day.

There is a grammar mistake in the above paragraph!  What is it?  Send an email with your answer.  The first person to identify and correct it gets a free tutoring session with the Wizard.

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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