Feb 26 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130226 (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.)

Great! It is now 7:15 AM eastern time and the SAT folks have their website working.  Let’s get to work.

The answer is B.  The SAT staff do their usual good job of explaining the answer to a Writing Test question (and I wish I could say the same about their Math Test questions); so, go take a look at it.

Use this question to remind you to get your hands on a good list of common errors that show up on the test.  It should lead you through the process of finding mistakes.  In this example,  “conserving” fits properly with “recycling produces” and I moved on. I got to “does” and as a verb, the first thing to check is the noun that goes with it:  it needs a singular noun since “does” is singular.  The noun is “processes” which we all know is plural.  That means “does” is wrong and we can bubble-in B.  The tricky part here is that when we think of sentences we normally see nouns/subjects preceding their verbs/predicates.  In this case, it came afterward.  You may have thought that recycling was the noun in which case would be easy to miss this question.

I need to truncate (shorten) my comments this morning since the SAT folks were late getting online.  Let’s see what the ACT folks have going for them.

http://www.act.org/qotd/ (The ACT staff does not put a date on their questions so if you click on an archived blog, you’ll get today’s question and the old explanation. Sorry. The SAT staff has dated their questions; so, the archive is helpful. The ACT folks simply don’t do that.)-

The answer is F.  I like their explanation this morning because it provides the details that are important for finding the right answer and eliminating wrong answers.  Good job.  Take a look at it.

Now what can we learn about the test from this sentence?  Just like the 6 passage questions on the SAT, there are times the ACT questions require you to read lines/sentences above and below the question.  On the ACT, they do a great job of signaling it is a special question that requires you do to do this: they use a box around the number rather than just underlining the number.  Now you know that you have to do something other than just pay attention to the sentence. Then they do a wonderful job in the question of referring you to lines preceding and following the box.  Very friendly.  Takes a few extra sentences but they aren’t obfuscating (confusing) the task at hand.  We can see the previous sentence was about “storied battles” and the following sentence is about a “modern-day knight.”  Just keep the theme of the paragraph consistent.

Contrary to their “directions,” you didn’t need to read the whole passage before answering this question or any other question.  Always disregard what they call “directions” in this regard because it is really bad advice.  What really is frustrating is when they want you to read previous and subsequent sentences to answer one of their questions, they are fantastically helpful and signal you with a box rather than an underline and even tell you what to do.  Very nice.  This makes their “directions” reading the whole passage before you start answering qustions all the more ludicrous (amusing or laughable).  Maybe Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle should have taken their respective lance and might sword and used them on the ACT directions box so they would have been rewritten to be more accurate and friendly to the ACT test takers. :-)

I hope all your Monday quizzes ant tests went well yesterday.  Some of you are taking the SAT soon.  Get started with a final push.  If you haven’t done so, take a look at my YouTube videos on the home page.  If they are helpful.  Watch to other, related ones.  If you do so, you’ll get about an hour’s worth of reading and math tips and tricks for only $3 and it will help support our charity.  Thanks.  As always, I’m available for questions via email.  Let me know if can help.  Enjoy your day.

The 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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