Apr 29 SAT Question of the Day and 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=20130429 (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.  Always start with determining the topic of the sentence.  Then use the topic in addition to key words and phrases plus structural clues like internal punctuation to predict a word for the blank (or two words for two blanks).  Make your prediction prior to looking at the answers.  In this case, the topic is that the dancers operate on a stage that seems “weightless” and gravity is being “ignored” or “not paid attention to.”  Now look at the answers for the first time.  Only Answer E, defied, is related to the dancers disregarding or ignoring gravity.

Be sure you are using this strategy on Saturday.  Predicting an answer prior to looking at the answers will help you avoid the test writers’ traps and raise your score.

Let’s go 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 H.  Lines 8 and 9 tell us, “One party publicly “appealed,” or accused, the other,” and then later on in lines 75 and 76 we find out, “some private person who brought formal suit and openly confronted his antagonist.”  The other three answers all add to the passage or disagree with what we are told.  That is how you identify wrong answers.  When you insert answers that don’t fit in the story, they are wrong.  Get rid of answers that add or disagree with the passage.  Refer to my “PICK” strategy and use the “Wizard’s Checklist” that are in my prep program to learn more about the technique.

This question certainly is an example of one way the SAT and ACT differ.  You had to spend time finding the place in the passage that answers the question.  Only about one-third of the questions on the ACT have line references.  As is the case with this question, most do not.  Approximately 85% of the questions on the SAT give you a line reference and the rest of them are about the passage as a whole (for example, main idea and/or purpose questions).  The references will help you find what to read that provides the answers to the SAT questions.  For many, if not most, students the SAT format makes it easier to finish the reading sections on time whereas finishing on time is a problem for many ACT test takers.  You need to try both tests to see if one is more “friendly” to you than the other.

Have a great week.  If you are taking the SAT this coming Saturday, be sure to spend a little time each day preparing.  Read my blog each day for more hints throughout the week.


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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