http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130222 (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 B. Start with, “What is the topic of the sentence?” Then make a prediction for the blank. The sentence tells us the subject of the sentence “the group” was very cool; they never lost any of the bombers that they escorted. Great job! We are predicting a very positive word. Distinction works.
Answer A, onus, reminds me of a common trap, trick, distractor, wrong answer, or whatever else you want to call answers that aren’t right. Lots of students won’t know this word and will think, “Wow, this is a tough word, onus. It must be the right answer since I don’t know what it means and the SAT test writers like to pick tough words! I’ll pick Answer A.” That is very wrong thinking. Just because you don’t know a word doesn’t make it any more likely to be the right answer. For example, in this question, onus is the word that the most students would miss on a vocabulary test (probably followed by imperative). Neither is correct. See what I mean. Only pick words you don’t know for answers if you’ve eliminated all the words you do know.
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. I like the ACT explanation and have very little to add to it. Good job.
I need to pick on them about their “directions” on the test again. (If you know what I’m about to say, you can stop reading and sign off. I’ll see you tomorrow.) They have go to quit telling students in the directions to read the whole passage before doing the questions. That’s not directions; it is advice and their advice stinks. It costs you points! Just like for this question, you rarely need to read more than the sentence to answer it. All you had to do was read the sentence where #8 is to get it right. Just start reading in the beginning of the ACT English Test passage and answer the questions as you go along. That is SOLID advice and it works!
Yippee, it’s Friday. Enjoy your weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing my Stetson U students. DVD #5 is on the agenda.