Jan 16 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130116 (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. However in my first few blogs, I didn’t use a date in my link and you won’t get the proper question. Sorry.)

The answer is A.  This is the best explanation I’ve ever seen for either an SAT or ACT question.  That’s exactly what I would have told you to do and they saved me the trouble of drawing the extra lines that divided the scatterplot into the four areas.

The one thing I’d add is read carefully.  (The SAT and ACT folks are always weak on test-taking strategies.)  I think the tricky part is “more” and “less.”  You have to make sure you are counting the dots in the lower-right quadrant.  The related issue is that the two dots that are on the 10 line are exactly 10 and not “more than.”  Just be careful; this math isn’t hard.

I wonder what the ACT folks are up to 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 B.  This ACT Science question is like the SAT math question we just did–read carefully.  “Over the course of several years” means we have to consider the whole figure.  That eliminates horseweed since it only existed in one year.  Aster existed in three hears but diminished in year 3.  That leaves broomsedge (whatever that is!).

This is a good question to point out that the science isn’t very hard for most questions.  The challenge is time.  You need to move quickly.  Be sure you read the labels and the key carefully.  We see three kinds of plants and four years–that was quick.  The chart’s Key is the trick.  It is the width of the bar that answers the question.  Aster increases in year 2 but shrinks in year 3 and that is why you have to throw it out as an answer.  The broomsedge bars keep getting wider.  All done.

I hope my SAT and ACT Question of the Day strategies and explanations are helpful and, if so, spread the word. Tell your friends at school and social media friends.

If you are taking the January SAT, 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.

A special reminder to my Osceola County students: Be sure to remind your friends about our upcoming class on this Saturday. Do your assignment and email me so I know you’ll be attending.

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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