# ACT & SAT Question of the Day: Apr. 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=20140407&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.  This is an unusual questions; it requires solving inequalities and calculating a probability in the same question.  So, first solve the two inequalities.  For the first one, we get x< 4.  That means x is all real numbers less than 4 and there are three numbers in the given set that are less than 4.  That eliminates 5 and 10 from the original set.  For the second inequality, x > -10.  That means x is all the real numbers greater than -10.   (Remember, bigger real numbers than -10 will be number to the right of it on a number line.)  That leaves us with four numbers in the original set that are greater than -10.  That eliminates -10 from the original set.  We are left with only two members of the original set that are in the solution sets for both inequalities: -5 and 0.

So, now we need to do this probability.  There are two remaining numbers out of five possible numbers.  The probability then is 2/5, Answer C.

This question reminds me of something about the Algebra I questions on the SAT that you should know.  There is a lot of algebra on the test–approximately 20% of the questions.  However, there aren’t many Algebra I concepts on the test.  That means they keep testing the same algebra skills over and over.  For a complete list of them, refer to my free website course or my student manual, Demystifying the SAT & ACT.  Of course, you’ll also be taught what the Algebra I skills are by watching the online video version of my program.

In addition, my materials will provide you a review of the probability concepts that show up on the test!

I wonder if the ACT folks have something interesting for us this morning.

Comma and semi-colon usage are common topics on both the ACT English Test and the SAT Writing Test.  You need to review them.

The answer is G.  Answers F and H both include a comma where you shouldn’t have one because there shouldn’t be one between the subject and predicate (verb) when they are consecutive words in a sentence.  (The ACT explanation is not clear when it says, “are incorrect because they propose putting a comma between the subject (“Bessie Coleman”) and the predicate or verb.”  Commas are used all the time between the subject and the verb to set apart intervening clauses and other grammar constructs like appositives.)

Answer J is wrong because it inappropriately uses a semicolon.  They are used to separate two independent clauses in a sentence.  The second half of this sentence isn’t an independent clause because it does not have both a subject and a predicate.  Therefore, there is no need for a semicolon.

Watch out for unnecessary commas on the test.  Overusing commas is just as bad as not using one where it is needed.

QotD Words of Wiz-dom

Jimmy Valvano, the former NC State basketball coach, once said, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”  He said that when he was fighting cancer.  That sure was true this last few weeks in the NCAA basketball tournament.  Many teams came from behind to win.

However, it is also very true in life and that includes getting ready for the SAT.  Sometimes you may need a little help getting to the next level on the test but don’t give up.  Reach out to someone who can assist you with your weaknesses.  If you are having trouble with a certain question or topic, send me an email.  I’ll be happy to help.

Have a great week.

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and ACT Wizard”