Jan 22 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130122 (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 E.  The SAT folks finally provided a simple explanation that worked.  Maybe they’ve been reading my blogs!  However,  I did it another way in my head that was faster.

First, you have to remember that numerical answers are always organized in ascending or descending order.  Take a look at these answers and you’ll see they are getting larger as you go from A to E.  This is part of my Pillar I: Use the Structure of the Test.

Second, since a=7/2 and x=3/2, you can calculate ax in your head to be 21/4 which is answer D but you have to add x and that will make 21/4 larger.  There’s only one answer that is larger than D–that’s E and you don’t have to worry about doing the addition of x!!

If you haven’t had functions in school yet, you should read the section on my website that explains them.  You would know that the f(3/2) just means x=3/2.

Remember my Pillar VI: Don’t Be Intimidated By the Seemingly Difficult.  This is a simple “plug and chug” question that requires you to substitute numbers they give you into the function (equation).  Keep Nike’s old slogan in mind–Just do it!  That makes it simple.

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.  Good for the ACT explanation.  Simple and straightforward.  They even tell you both ways that you can do this problem.  Let’s add a some simple strategies that will keep you from making a mistake on test morning.

Remember my mantra: What did they tell me and what do I know because they told me that?  The 130o tells you that the angle right next to it is 50o.  So, you should write down 50 in the angle next to it (the supplementary angle) right away.  When you do, the solution becomes pretty obvious because every middle school kid knows there’s 180 degrees in a triangle.  Now you just have to subtract 180-45-50 and get 85.

You could also have read my explanation about exterior angles and subtracted 45 from 130 and gotten the same answer.

Classes start in Dr. Phillips, Lake Nona, and Celebration next week.  Register now and save a seat.

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 few days 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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