Feb 10 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130210 (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.  When you attack an SAT Sentence Completion question, 1) ask yourself what is the topic and 2) look for internal punctuation and key words and phrases.  In this case, the answer to question #1 is the fact that Joe Louis inspired fear.  For #2, you see a colon which means you are about to read a paraphrase, an example (or list of examples), or explanation.  What follows the colon in this sentence is an explanation of the word that goes in the blank and it does double duty as the topic: Joe Louis was a baaaaad man in the boxing ring!  What answer means that?  Answer E: redoubtable.

If you don’t know all of the words, you can at least pick ones that you know don’t mean “inspires fear.”  I’ll bet that there is at least one word you can’t define but you know it doesn’t mean that it inspires fear.  How many can you eliminate?  If the answer is at least one, then guess at the rest.  That’s right–you only need to eliminate one before the guessing penalty becomes a reward.  Guessing from among four answers will statistically lead to a higher score.  Go for it.

I wonder what the ACT test writers have prepared for us this fine Sunday morning.

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 J.  The ACT folks do a fine job of explaining the grammar that supports this answer; read it after you finish reading my blog.  In addition, this is a fine illustration of one of the key strategies that will help you raise you ACT and SAT scores.  I learned it from my 9th grade English teacher, Ms. Murphy: shorter is better.  If you can say the same thing in fewer words, do it.  Answer J does that.  “Love resembling that of a child” means “childlike.”  Thank you, Ms. Murphy.  I got this one right and moved on!

I hope all of you who took the ACT yesterday have recuperated!!

I know that there are some teachers who use my blog in their classrooms.  Maybe there are even some more that I don’t know about.  Would you all please send me emails about how you use it?  I’ll write a blog about how teachers are using my blog and spread the word to others.

Students who have teachers who are using my blog, please do so as well.

Thanks to all of you who let me know how much help my daily blog is.  Spread the word.

The Wizard


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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