http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130205 (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 folks usually do a nice job of explaining the grammar and composition rules that support the right answer. This is no exception; so, take a look at it.
This is a perfect example of using my strategy of common elements: “What do I do when I want to make an educated guess?” Take a look at my January 31 blog for a detailed explanation. Applying it to this question is extra cool. Eliminate B since it is the only one that uses the verb “include.” Each of the other verbs appear twice. “And,” appears in three of the five answers; eliminate C’ it doesn’t. Three of the five answers don’t include “it.” Eliminate A. You are down to a 50/50 guess between D and E. I hope you see how you are looking for a singular verb and that should direct you to answer B.
Let’s take a look at a related major issue of the SAT. The real, comprehensive name of the SAT is “SAT I: The Reasoning Test (emphasis added). The math and reading sections are certainly dominated by reasoning and analytical skills. The grammar questions on the writing section (70% of your “writing” score is not. You simply must review and memorize the rules of standard written English. (The same is true for the ACT.) That may take you quite a while depending on your current grammar skills. Get started.
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. I can’t quibble with the ACT explanation for the right answer–not bad.
However, I’d like to see them explain why wrong answers are wrong since you are looking for the best answer. For example, what’s the problem with answer G. It is certainly accurate given all the information in Table 1; you never see an “S” in the chart. You must pay careful attention to the question; it limits you to Shadow A. That means an hour after sunrise the shadow is pointing is some variation of a westerly direction. Over the course of the years it swings from SW to NW and at some point the shadow is case due W. That is why G is wrong. The same reasoning applies to H. J is wrong because “brightness” isn’t indicated. All of these answers add something to the chart’s main idea, making them wrong.
I think this is a more comprehensive explanation for picking the right answer. What do you think?
If you are taking the ACT this Saturday, 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.