Feb 2 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130202 (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.  The SAT test writers need to be nicer on Saturdays.  This is a pretty tough question for a weekend!  When you use a “both/and” construction (and “neither/nor,” “either/or,” and “not only/but also) be sure the pieces that follow them are parallel.  The SAT folks snuck in a “the” for audiences but didn’t use one for television programmers in this sentence.  That was pretty subtle and lots of students are missing this question.  Maybe had this been a school day, it would have been easier.  To do this after a Friday night was just plain nasty!!

Let’s see what the ACT folks have in store for us this 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 F.  The ACT staff are a lot nicer since they are pretty gentle this fine Saturday morning!  They even give you a fine explanation for this question; so, there’s no sense in me repeating it.  However, I’d like to make an important point.

When you are taking the SAT and ACT tests, often the hardest questions are the ones in which you don’t have to change the original sentence.  You are wired to respond by finding a mistake.  Just keep in mind that there will be a number of questions on each test that contain no mistake.  Just check all the elements using standard grammar and composition rules then move on.  Don’t get bogged down and waste time over-analyzing the questions when you can’t find a mistake.  One thing you can do with these questions is mark them in the test booklet as ones you’d like to come back to if you have extra time after finishing all of the the other questions.  Just put a “?” in the column to the left of the question and come back and look at it again if you have time.  Just don’t spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find a mistake when one doesn’t exist.

Have a great weekend.

Classes start in Dr. Phillips and Celebration this weekend. Some of you have called or emailed me to reserve a seat but remember I only guarantee a seat if you’ve completed and submitted your registration form. So, take care of that if you haven’t done so already.

If you are taking the February ACT, time is running short. I recommend you watch my online Tips and Tricks videos to help you prepare. In addition to the free ones on the home page, it only costs $3 to watch an hour of my best test-taking techniques for taking the SAT and ACT tests.

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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