Jan 21 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130121 (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 C.  This mistake is high on the list of common mistakes that you will find on my website–subject/verb agreement.  The SAT and ACT test writers both like to test you on this issue.  When you see a verb underlined, be sure to go back and check the subject.  Make sure they are both singular or both plural.  In this case, “have” is plural and the subject “writer” is singular.  That makes “have” wrong.

Find yourself a list of common errors and how to identify them.  That’s going to focus your studies on English grammar and composition.  You will save time and raise your score.

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 H.  I think the ACT person who explains the grammar and composition usually does a really good job.  Today’s explanation, while a little cumbersome due to all the necessary technical terms, is really good.

Ms. Murphy, maybe the finest English teacher who every stood at the front of the classroom (my ninth grade teacher), taught me a little trick that I’d like to pass on to you.  If you read this sentence without including “she’d been born in 1893,” the sentence would read just fine and there would be no mistakes.  That means you need to set it off with commas and in this case add “where” since we are talking about a place.

Again, I have to tell my new readers that you must disregard the ACT “directions” that inform you to read the whole passage prior to answering any questions.  That’s not directions; it’s advice and it’s bad advice at that.  It wastes an enormous amount of time.  For example, did you have to read the whole passage to answer this question?  Of course, you didn’t.  Shame on the ACT folks for including that bad advice in the “directions.”  I hate to have to keep repeating this issue in my blog but I’m hoping some day I will embarrass them into fixing their “directions.”  (I’m not optimistic since they’ve been doing this since the dark ages!)

Osceola students–if you’ve done the practice test and have a question about any of the items, let me know and I’ll help you. The test is only a week away.

If you are taking the January SAT and/or 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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