Apr 9 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

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=20130409 (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.)

As of 5:00AM Eastern Daylight Time the SAT website is down.  This seems to happen an awful lot.  I’ll check back later before I leave for my appointments for the day.  I hope they are up and running by then.

Didn’t happen.  Sorry but I have to leave.  It’s 6 o’clock and they are still down and out.  Check out the ACT explanation.  It will help you this Saturday.

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 F. Frequently the challenge of the ACT is finding the answer in the passage.  Here’s what you can do that will help: as you read the passage, underline key words in the topic sentence of each paragraph so that you’ll be paying attention to and have notes about the organization of the passage.  In this case, you would have underlined compurgation since that is the topic of this paragraph.  That way when you saw the question, you would have been able to come back to the right part of the passage without much trouble.  Then you could have found “burst” in the last line.  (It’s always a great strategy to underline words in parentheses as well because test writers often ask questions about them.)  The sentence just before the one with burst provides the answer, “…very exact form proceeded without a mistake, …” which Paraphrases (the P in PICK) the correct/best answer.  In addition, the other three answers are not Insertable because they add to the passage.  That leaves you with Answer F.

Using the topic sentences as a guide for the outline of the passage is very important on the ACT.  (Only 30-40% of the questions will have line references whereas approximately 80% of the SAT Reading questions will have them.)

If you are taking the ACT this coming Saturday, be sure to remember this technique because it will help you to get to more questions and improve your score.  Also, don’t forget to not leave any blank answers; there’s no penalty for being wrong on the ACT.

Be sure to come back later in the week and I’ll tell you what to have for “test day” breakfast.  That will help too.


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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