Jan 26 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130126 (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.)

If you are taking the SAT this morning, be sure to eat right and do your mental warmups.  Hey, if you don’t know what to eat or what mental warmups are, you need to take my class next time.

The answer is C.  Good old Alfred sure had a very bad day!  I hope nobody was hurt.  It’s time to use our strategies against the SAT test writer.  Focusing on the topic of the sentence and key words and phrases helps us see that the chemical could blow up “without warning.”  Using that phrase, let’s predict something for the second blank before we look at the answers.   “It could,” “likely,” or some such phrase or word makes sense since we are certainly focused on an accidental incident.  Now, take a look at the answers for the second blank.  B, D, and E don’t make sense.  Now look at the first words for A and E.  “Dormant” means “resting” or “sleeping” so that doesn’t make sense, which leaves us with C.

Here’s a little trick to use when you are learning new words.  Make up silly sentences rather than trying to memorize formal definitions.  For example, when I look at “dormant,” I see “door mat.”  That leads to, “The sleepy SAT student was as dormant as a door mat.” Try it–you’ll like it!

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 H.  The ACT explanation is the long, detailed way to understand the answer and there’s certainly nothing wrong with it.

However, my students learn something in the exponent lesson.  When doing algebra never forget that there are both positive and negative square roots.  If you remember this fact, then this question takes about 3.14159 seconds!  If you are doing geometry, there is only a positive root since you cannot have a negative length of a line.  Simple enough.

Best of luck to those of you who are taking the SAT this morning.  Don’t forget to stay away from greasy meats and eggs at breakfast.

Classes start in Dr. Phillips, Lake Nona, and Celebration next week. I only have two seats left for the Lake Nona class.  Reserve your seat today.

If you are taking the  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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