ACT & SAT Question of the Day: Feb. 4, 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 C.  Sometimes the words in the answers aren’t what makes the question difficult; it is the words in the sentence.  That is what is causing this question to be difficult because only 38% are getting it right at this time.

As usual, you have to figure out the topic of the sentence.  That is, what does the sentence tell us about the subject of the sentence?  It tells us that Natalie is “altruistic.”  If you don’t know that word, you are in trouble!  “Altruistic” means “unselfish” or money isn’t important; the well being of others comes first.  That topic would lead us to predicting words for the blank that would indicate she was sorry about the greedy, selfish attitude of her colleague (workplace associate).

Looking at the words that match our prediction for the first blank, sorry, the only one that fits is Answer C, lamented.  We are all done because none of the other first words indicate she is sorry.  The only answers that have words for the second blank that are even close to “greed” are C and D.  “Egotistical” (D) is close but “adopted” in the first blank doesn’t work because Natalie stayed “true to her altruistic beliefs.”

If you didn’t get this question correct, you need to ask yourself, “Does it matter?”  The question would show up late in the Sentence Completion section of the test because it is difficult.  Based on the score you need, do you need to get it right?  If not, don’t worry about missing it.  If so, then you better start working on your vocabulary!  I recommend beginning with a study of morphemes, word parts.  Go to and you’ll see a section of the website that will help you improve your knowledge of prefixes, stems, and suffixes.

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 C.  Using my PICK strategy makes short work of this question.  Insert the answers and see which one fits.  Answers A, B, and D all add or disagree with the passage when you put them back into the passage.  Answer A disagrees because we are told “nor the question of guilt or innocence” which means the courts didn’t consider you innocent until proven guilty.  Please notice how the test writers used a concept in our courts to create an attractive wrong answer.  Never use prior knowledge to answer a question; you can only use what you are told in the passage.  B is nonsense because it adds to the story because we are never told everybody was considered guilty.  D is nonsense because it adds to the story by suggesting there would be a second party making a presentation.  There’s no indication that anyone else would testify.  That leaves us with Answer C.

What does all this evidence about the reading test tell you?  It is testimony and proof that the test writers are guilty of making up answers that add to and disagree with the passage when they make up wrong answers!  That is why Insertable is such a powerful tool on test day.

Have a wonderful day!

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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