ACT and SAT Question of the Day: Jan. 16, 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.  If you need to review absolute value topics, refer to the Number Properties section of my free website or the 500 Series of the Demystifying the SAT & ACT: Anytime, Anywhere program.

Simply try the answers.  For A, if a=0, then any value of b would have to make the answer (the difference of a and b) negative because b would have to be positive.  (An absolute value cannot be negative.)  For B, a could be 5 and subtracting 0 is a possible solution.  I bet we found the answer but let’s check the other answers just to be sure.  For C, if a and b are equal, their difference would have to be 0.  Eliminate it.  For D, because we have absolute values the -b has to be positive; so the difference would be 0 again.  For E, no matter what you subtract from 1, the answer would have to be less than 1; so, the difference could never be 5.  We are now sure the answer is B.

I think this is an example of why Pillar VI: Don’t Be Intimidated by the Seemingly Difficult is important.  (For a full review of all the Pillars, take a look at the 100 Series of the video program.)  The test writers, your opponents, have the ability to make easy stuff look difficult and intimidating.  Don’t panic, relax, build your confidence with guided practice.  Because this is a “standardized” test, it is highly predictable.  (That’s what standardized things are–always the same and predictable.)  Because the tests are standardized/predictable, we know what to expect.  Because we know what to expect, we can eliminate surprises.  Because there can be no surprises, we know how to prepare.  Because we know how to prepare, we can practice strategies appropriate for what we know will be on the test.  Because we practice, our confidence goes up.  Because our confidence goes up, we are not intimidated.  Because we are not intimidated, our scores increase.  Hail to standardized tests–they reduce intimidation!  Of course, I’m assuming you’ll do the work.  Start practicing my strategies because they are based on what you’ll see on the test.

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.  The depth of 0 has all the attributes required for organism to thrive based on the data in the table.

This is a perfect example of what you need to know about the ACT Science Reasoning Test.

Do you know what the most important thing is to learn from this question?  First, you’ll never predict the science knowledge that will be on the test; so don’t worry about reviewing science information as part of your test prep.  Second, they’ll explain the science on the test which is all the more reason to not review science topics.  Third, this is a science reasoning test.  You need to apply scientific principles and the most important skill is analyzing and interpreting data.  That is what you need to practice prior to the test.  Get your hands on some actual ACT Science Tests and study the way the test writers present data and ask questions about the charts and graphs in those tests–the more the better.  Work on your speed because that is the major challenge of the test.  Let’s get to work!  Only practice will raise your score.

Surprise a teacher today.  After a good class, as you leave thank the teacher for doing a good job!  It will brighten up both of your days.

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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