ACT & SAT Question of the Day: Apr. 17, 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.)

If you have been doing my blog for a while, stop and try to predict what I’m going to say about this question.  If you predict it accurately, then you have my strategy down for two-blank Sentence Completion questions and can skip reading my blogs about them in the future.  If you learn something today, you need to keep working.

The answer is E.  Always begin your attack on a Sentence Completion question by determining the topic of the sentence — what the sentence tells us about the subject.  The topic of the sentence is how unselfish Alvin is.  Now predict words for the blanks that are consistent with the topic.  Don’t bother to try to think of fancy SAT words for your prediction; common, easy words work just fine.  I predicted “nice” and “helps” for the two blanks.

Here’s the time-saving part of the strategy–do one blank at a time.  Let’s use the first word, “nice.”  Looking at the answers for the first blank, I can eliminate everything but Answer B, noble, and Answer E, altruistic.  I have saved the time of looking at the second words for Answers A, C, and D.  Looking at the second words, Answer B, undermines, can be eliminated.  That leaves me with Answer E, assists.  All done.

You can read more about this and related strategies on my free website or you can watch the Video 200 Series of my online video course to learn more details about my approach to Sentence Completion questions.

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.

I contend that every reading question you’ll ever see in your life, whether it is on the ACT, SAT, your state reading exam, the LSAT, or MCAT, or whatever reading tests you encounter, can always be answered correctly by using my PICK strategy.  Students who have mastered this simple technique see wonderful score increases.  Let’s use part of the strategy to answer this question.

The answer is H.  Use the I in PICK and Insert the answers into the passage.  When you do so, Answers F, G, and J all add to or disagree with what you are told in the passage.  Eliminate them.  Answer H inserts just fine near lines 74-76 without adding or disagreeing.  No fuss, no muss.

Yes, reading tests are this simple when you use quick and simple approaches to the test to identify and eliminate wrong answers.  You just need to learn the characteristics of right and wrong answers and practice recognizing them.  That will keep you from falling for the tricky, half-truth wrong answers on the test.  Read about this strategy on my free website or watch Video Series #300 of my online video course.  You will be quite pleased with the results.

QotD Words of “Wiz-dom”:

I had the honor of being interviewed for NPR’s “All Things Considered” by reporter Cory Turner yesterday.  Here’s what he had to say about the new SAT and some of my comments during the show:  NPR All Things Considered.  Scroll down to story #11.

Enjoy your day.  Be altruistic and do something nice for somebody today without expecting anything in return.

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and 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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