Mar 10 ACT & SAT Question of the Day (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.)

The answer is D.  The comparison needs to be “rooms” on the lower floors, not the floors themselves.  This is a great example of a mistake that is tested frequently on the test: parallelism.  Keep an eye out for it since it can be difficult to see.  In this case, it is the comparison of the rooms on separate floors.  Sometimes it is verbs that must be parallel in tense.  Sometimes it is prepositional phrase structure.  The list goes on.  You may be wondering how you catch the mistake.  Anytime something is underlined there are a number of issues that you have to check.   (Refer to DVD #9 or my online course.)  In today’s question, you were clued in by “more expensive than” which warned you there is a comparison of some sort in the sentence.  Comparison to what?  What is “the lower floors” being compared to?  Certainly you didn’t need to compare floors with rooms; there’s the problem.  Pick answer D and move on.

Let’s see what the ACT staff did for us today. (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.  The ACT staff’s explanation is a good one; so, if you missed this question, read what they have to say.

If you are new to my blog, you need to understand something that concerns me.  The ACT English Test directions tell you to read the whole passage before doing the questions.  That is not directions, it is advice.  Worse yet, it is terrible advice.  Doing so slows you down and is going to hurt your score.  Simply disregard their bad advice.  You rarely need to read more than the sentence that involves the underlined part!  Here’s my advice: start at the beginning of the passage and answer the questions as you go along.  On the rare occasion that you need to read more than the sentence involving the underlined part, do so when you get to it, not from the beginning.

I hope you remembered to reset your clock last night and you got up in time today for whatever activity the day is going to offer you.

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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