Mar 13 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 D.  This is a classic case of “shorter is better.”  The right answer conveys the same message with fewer words.  Now let’s take a look at the other short answers.  B is a “run-on” sentence.  There are two independent clauses with subjects (nouns) and predicates (verbs) which must be separated by a semicolon, a conjunction, or terminal punctuation creating two sentences.  C is awkward and long.  E is confusing.  The phrase “but it was information” is not clear.  The sentence is supposed to let us know that the era was “dominated by information,” but answer E doesn’t clearly state that.  That leaves D.

Moving on to the ACT question… (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.  Read the table to find which ion or gas doesn’t change from 10 cm and greater depths.  That was easy but let’s use this question to see what we can learn about the ACT Science Test.

First, don’t review science to prepare for the ACT.  The passages give you all the science you need to know to answer the questions.  Attack the passages much the same way you do reading passages: get the main idea and then move quickly to the questions.  Use your time answering questions and earning points rather than learning the science.  For example, there is an introduction to the table that explains it.  Don’t look at the data.  When you get to questions, they will direct you to the important entries in the cells.  We just had to find some values that didn’t change from 10-20.  Easy enough.

Second, go fast.  Your challenge is going to be to get through this section of the test on time.  One way to speed up is to do the passages in a logical sequence rather than the way they appear in the test booklet.  Do the three “Read the Data” passages first; they are the quickest to do.  (This one is an example.)  Then find and do the “Experiment” passages which will take a little more time per passage.  Finally, do the “Disputing Scientists” passage.  It takes more time since you have to compare and contrast two different points or view or sets of data.  That process will get you through the test most efficiently.

Happy Wednesday or “hump day.”   It’s all down hill to Friday!

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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