Apr 27 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=20130427 (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 D.  We have to fix the mistake by making sure Heather and Joanne are being compared.  Here’s another question to remind you that parallel structures are very important to the test writers; they appear on the test quite regularly.  The sentence compares two sisters, Heather and Joanne.  However, the way it is worded it compares Heather with “Joanne’s fear.”  Oops!  Ms. Murphy (my 9th grade English teacher) would have explained the easy way to realize that there is a problem is to read the sentence without the clause between the two commas.  “Unlike her sister Heather, Joanne’s fear kept her…”  Doing so makes the problem more obvious.  Oftentimes on the SAT and ACT, reading the sentence without extraneous words will help you recognize the mistakes.

Let’s take a look at 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 #6 for the “Radio” passage again! Come on ACT staff, get some new questions.

The answer is J.  The question is just a logic issue.  The Division wasn’t created because it had no power; so, we need to fix the sentence.  “Since” and “thus” (G and H) are certainly the wrong conjunctions because the sentence would make no sense.  “Since” is related to time and is frequently mistaken with “because.”  The sentence isn’t about the Division having existed in the past and now it was created.  That is nonsense.  “Thus” means “therefore.”  The Division wasn’t created and as a result it no power to regulate.  Answer J, “but,” fits in perfectly because the next sentence tells us the broadcaster were operating without any control and doing what they wished.

Sometimes you will need to read an adjoining sentence to make sure you have a context for answering the question.  However, you should completely disregard the ACT  “directions” which advise you to read the entire passage prior to answering any questions.  That’s just nuts!  Don’t waste your time doing that.  Simply answer the questions as you read the passage.  Once in a while you’ll need an adjoining sentence to answer a question (as in this case) but reading the entire passage first is just ridiculous.

Be sure you do some practice each day this week in preparation for this coming Saturday’s SAT.  It is like warming up before a sports event, dance performance, or musical performance.  Don’t go into the test cold.  I’ll address the issue of how to warm up on test morning later in the week.

I hope you have a great day.


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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