Mar 12 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

If you are connecting to my blog using an email you received from me, do not click the link t0 below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email. (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 B.  Always start your attack on a Sentence Completion Question with figuring out the topic of the sentence and predicting a word for the blank(s) based on the topic.  After you make the prediction, then look at the answers.  This sentence tells us Parks showed a lot of different talents when he was involved with the film The Learning Tree.  So we are looking for a word that means he was versatile.  Protean is the right answer.

What do you do if you don’t know the vocab?  (Join the club; only 39% are getting it right this morning!)   Do you know any of the words?  If you know even one word and can eliminate it, guess at the rest.  That’s right.  When you eliminate one wrong answer the guessing penalty becomes a guessing reward.

Learning morphemes, word parts, will help build your vocabulary and raise your SAT score.  Get lists of prefixes, stems/roots, and suffixes and get to work.  For example, you’ll learn that “laud” is based on Latin and means praise or acclaim.  Eliminate “lauded,” answer C because it has nothing to do with versatile.

Let’s move on to see what the ACT staff has prepared for us this morning. (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 F.  The challenge of the ACT is finding the answers since they provide very few line references.  Use the topic sentences of paragraphs to help guide you.  For example, in this case, the question is about compurgation and the paragraph that starts in line 23 is about that topic.  Look for the answer there.  Sure enough, there it is in the last sentence.  It was fairly easy to find since burst is in quotation marks which made it easier to see.  The two final sentences in the paragraph answer the question.  The three wrong answers are in violation of the criteria outlined by “The Wizard’s Checklist.”

I hope my LNHS students enjoyed the guest speaker last night and feel like they have a head start on writing college application essays.

Happy Tuesday.

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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