Apr 22 SAT Question of the Day & ACT QotD

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=20130422 (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.)

Hi, everyone.  I apologize for not blogging this weekend.  I’ve been out of town in a place that doesn’t have wifi and so I’ve been out of touch with civilization.  Hope your weekend was a good one.

The answer is B.  You could do this the way the SAT folks explained it but there’s a much easier way.  First, notice that the question says, “must be true.”  (That’s using Pillar IV: Focus on the Question.)  Don’t overlook the “must” because sometimes they ask, “can be true.”

Second, rather than do this question in the abstract, let’s use my strategy of “changing the abstract to the concrete”  which I also call, “change the variables to numbers.”  It becomes much easier.  Make each segment a length of 1 which makes AD = 3.  Then Roman Numeral I becomes 1 + 1 = 3; so, I is false.  II becomes 1 + 1 = 3 – 1 = 2; so, II is true.  III is 2 – 1 = 3 – 1; so, III is false.  That leaves II as the only one that must me true: Answer B.

Let’s consider this format of “Roman Numeral” or “Triple True-False” Questions  They appear on both the SAT and ACT.  They can show up on both the reading and math sections but you won’t see them on every test date.  When they do show up, they take an unusual amount of time because you have to answer three true-false questions (Roman Numerals I, II, and III) to earn one point.  That means if you usually have trouble finishing a section of the test and you encounter one of these questions, you should certainly consider skipping the question and returning to it if you have time.

Let’s see what the ACT folks have for us to start off another fine week in April.  Yeah, spring is here!

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 H.  As usual, this Science Test question is simply asking us to read a chart or diagram.  First, focus on the question (Pillar IV) and make sure you find the right figure: Figure 3.  Lot’s of time is wasted when students are looking for the answer to the question in the wrong place!  A common skill that is assessed on the test is “interpolation,” calculating or estimating values between data points that are on the figures, charts, graphs, etc.  In this case, we are given 110 and 200 years but not 150.  So, let’s go about half way between the two and go straight up to the dotted line which represents oak-hickory “trees per unit area” or “density.”  That point on the line is about 15,000, Answer H.  Not bad, circle it in the test booklet, bubble it on the answer sheet and move on to the next question.

Hope you are having a great spring.  Proms are rocking; sports seasons are coming to a close; AP and finals are just around the corner; and SAT is in a couple of weeks.  Those are more than enough to keep you busy.  Get out your planner or other calendar and make sure you organize your life for the next several weeks.  It is an extremely busy time of the year and it can get away from you if you aren’t careful.  And if you think this is a demanding schedule, when you get to college you’ll realize it was a “piece of cake!”  Enjoy.


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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