# SAT & ACT Question of the Day: Feb. 7, 2014

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.

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?questionId=20140207&oq=1 (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 C.  The sentence is about the “______ materials at the beginning of the book.”  So the topic of the sentence is telling us the materials are “introductory.”  I predicted “beginning” because I like to use words that are in the sentence which tell me the topic.  I could have also predicted “introductory.”  In either case, “prefatory” is a good synonym.  Fortunately the right answer looks like “preface” which is a word most high schools students know and the wrong answers are more difficult words.  If you don’t know a word, try to think of other words that are like it to give you a clue as in my example.  It’s not surprising that 60% of students are getting it correct.

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

The answer is F.  This is a typical ACT “Plug and Chug” question.  (There will usually be a few on the ACT but rarely on the SAT.)  All you do is plug the numbers into the equation they give you and turn the math crank.  Go ahead and use your calculator.  55 = 1/2 (5)(13 + b2).  That works out to 9.

I did it in my head.  55/5 is 11 and that means the average of the two number in the parentheses has to be 11.  (Did you notice that 1/2 (b1 + b2) is the same as calculating the average?)  Because the average (or mean) of two numbers is the balancing point, the missing number has to be 9.  9 and 13 “balance” at 11.  I was finished before you could put all that stuff in your calculator!  Is your calculator slowing you down and hurting your score?  Maybe it is.

There’s more about the “balancing point” on the video that you will find on my home page.  If you haven’t watched it, you should.

Do something today that will make you proud.  In fact, do something every day that will make you proud of yourself.  You could begin by thanking someone in your life for making a difference.

The SAT & ACT Wizard