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=20130423 (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 A. Always remember to determine the topic of the sentence and then make a prediction based on the topic, key words, and phrases before looking at the answers. “Showers” are contrasted with “thunderstorms” and the former are good for crops while the latter are bad because they “cause floods and erosion.” My predictions were “to do well” and “bad” respectively. When there are two blanks, it will speed you up if you start with one prediction and eliminate answers using it and then use the second prediction to eliminate the remaining answers. “To do well” got me focused on Answer A but I had to leave C and E in the running since they were sort of related to the crops doing well. Then I used the second prediction, “bad,” to eliminate C and E because those answers certainly don’t mean “bad.” That left Answer A. All done.
Let’s move on to 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.)
The answer is D. There are lots of reasons to eliminate this sentence. Mainly it is because the topic sentence for the paragraph tells us we are about to read about her journey from the Southwest to the French skies. Including a detail about how long ago she was born is certainly redundant because we are told in the previous sentence she was born in 1893 and it’s unnecessary to tell us that was about a century ago. You can do the approximation without being told it was about a 100 years ago. In addition, the sentence can be eliminated because the it is a useless detail about her journey (the paragraph’s topic) because we already know when it began. It is redundant. That means the sentence doesn’t add any useful information to the paragraph and “shorter is better.” When we get rid of the sentence, the paragraph doesn’t lose any content.
Make sure you are carefully planning your days for the rest of the semester. Time is running short.