Feb 16 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130216 (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.  I checked out the topic of the sentence.  I saw the colon which indicated the second part of the sentence explained the first part. It told me that the queen was very perceptive or insightful.  So, I predicted those words and went on the hunt for synonyms.  I happen to know that is what “perspicacity” means but what if I didn’t.  Knowing that if I can eliminate one answer, I can find at least one word I know doesn’t mean “perceptive” and I can eliminate it and guess at the rest.

Here’s the deal.  Learn the meaning of root (stem) words and in many cases they’ll at least tell you enough about the word that you can decide if it goes along with your prediction.  Symbiosis has “bio” which means life; throw it out.  Malevolence has “mal” and “volence” which mean bad and capacity; get rid of it.  Punctiliousness reminds me of punctual, being on time.  It is about paying attention to detail; that’s not consistent with perception.  Finally, I see “stern” in consternation.  That doesn’t work.  In short, I use word parts to decide if unfamiliar words are consistent with the topic.  That strategy always helps me eliminate some answers and make an educated guess.

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.)

The answer is H.  The ACT folks do  a fine job of explaining why these answers are wrong for this question.  But how does that help you with future questions?  Do you know that there is a list of specific characteristics for right and wrong answers on reading tests?  Yes, there is.  Check out the “Wizard’s Checklist” and you will learn a very fast and accurate technique for telling right from wrong answers on every reading test including the ACT and SAT.  You can get started by watching the free reading tip YouTube video on my home page.  If you think that helped, you could invest just $2 and you’ll see some more reading tips.  Spend $3 and you’ll get to watch both the reading and the math strategies.  Enjoy.

Have a great weekend.  It’s going to be unseasonably and unreasonably cold here in central Florida tonight.  I’m thinking some of you folks up north just felt like sharing!

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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