Apr 14 SAT Question of the Day and ACT QofD

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. If you are seeing this in my blog, do the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link:

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130414 (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 E.  Did you use the Wizard’s strategy?  Always start SAT Sentence Completion Questions by determining the topic of the sentence and then predicting a word for the blank(s).  Use the topic of the sentence and structural clues (key words, phrases, and internal punctuation) as the basis for your prediction.

Apply the strategy to this sentence.  Wright’s designs are “visually captivating” and he infuses “his designs with beauty.”  The sentence tells us he is an architect who is quite artistic.   The comma tells us that the rest of the sentence even defines the word that goes in the blank.  I predicted “skilled artist.”  Even though you may not know the word “aesthete,” Answer E, using the topic sure gets you to the right answer!  An “instigator” starts something.  A “nonconformist” doesn’t go along with the crowd.  An “intellectual” uses his brain and thinks.  A “minimalist” is not extravagant or expansive.  None of these words have to do with the topic of being an “artist.”  That leaves E even if you don’t know what it means!  An “aesthete” is someone who has a special appreciation for art and beauty.  Remember this word since is shows up on the SAT quite a bit as does its adjectival form “aesthetic.”

The trap in this sentence is that many of the wrong answers might easily describe Wright.  But then the topic of the sentence would have to tell us something different about the architect.  For example, if instigator is the right answer, the sentence would have to tells us he started something; perhaps he began a whole new approach to designing buildings.  If you know anything about his designs, you may have trouble with this question, since most of the wrong answers describe him.  Make sure you don’t use prior knowledge to answer questions on the SAT.  Focus on the topic; they tell you everything you need to know to get the answer correct.

Let’s check out the ACT question.

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.)

Oh no, not this question again!

The answer is C.  The question asks what happens “after 100 years.”  Checking out the “age in years” of the diagram, we see that at 100 years and beyond the pine trees virtually disappear and are replaced by oak and hickory trees.  That’s answer C.

The ACT Science Test measures your ability to quickly and accurately read diagrams.  It is not about science knowledge because they tell you everything you need to know to answer the questions.  Get your hands on some practice tests and work on your skills related to reading diagrams as quickly and accurately as you can.  I suggest the “Real ACT Prep Guide,” since it is the only book with actual ACT tests in it.  All the other prep guides make up their own, fake tests.  There is a difference and you deserve the real ACT tests, not faux (false) tests.

If you took the ACT yesterday, I hope all went well.  If you didn’t order the test information release (TIR) when you registered, do it now.  It will cost about $18 and it will give you a copy of the test as well as your answers and the correct answers so you can learn from your mistakes.  This information will help you focus your efforts to improve.

Have a peaceful day.  See you tomorrow.


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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