Jan 23 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130123 (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.  Always start with asking yourself, “What’s the topic,” and, “Are there any key words or phrases?”  Although signals a change in direction.  The topic is about a major breakthrough; so, his proof wasn’t so hot due to that change in direction.  The sentence has to go from very positive to negative.  If you don’t know the word paltry, then identify words that are not positive.  A and E are out.  You may not know the other words but you have to guess since you’ve eliminated more than one answer.

Now use these strategies.  First, check out word parts for the other three words.  For example, in-dubit-able means “not able to be doubted.”  That’s positive–eliminate it.  Second, try reading the sentence while plugging in each of the remaining two words.   Does one sound better than the other?  Trust your judgment.  You’ll improve your choice over random guessing.  One will just seem better when you try them out.

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 D.  This is a “detail” question which shows up on the ACT but is very rare on the SAT.  Answering it is a matter of going back and finding specific statements that answer the question.  The reading isn’t hard but it takes time to go find the information since the ACT test writers don’t give you many line references which is the case in this example.  What to do?

This question is a triple true-false format.  That means you have to answer three questions to get one point–a major change in the rules of the test.  You have to use a couple of special strategies.  First, do one Roman numeral at a time.  I is true since the passage describes the accuser’s role in each format.  Then look at the answers and eliminate B.  II is false since these are public trials; eliminate C.  III is true; that leaves D.

Second, this question format requires three times as long to answer as a regular question.  If you have trouble finishing on time, skip it.  It requires too much time for you to earn one point.  Go answer some other questions and if you have time, come back to it last.  Do the same thing when you see one of these questions on the SAT.

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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