# Mar 17 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

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http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130317 (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.)

Here’s wishing you a fine St. Patrick’s Day!

The answer is B. I plugged in numbers, substituting the concrete (actual numbers) for the abstract (a and b).  For answer A, if a=0, then there’s no positive number (the absolute value of b) that I can subtract from 0 that results in 5.  Every answer has to be negative.  B works fine since if a=5, then 5-0 (for b=0), the answer is 5.  C and D result in 0.  For answer E, there’s no positive number that you can subtract from 1 that can give you more than 1.

Changing the abstract to the concrete is a very powerful strategy.  A student told me she used the technique “a lot” on the March SAT.  My count of questions on released tests where the strategy works is about 20%.  It is often much more efficient than doing the math while using variables that you are given.

Let’s see what the ACT folks prepared for us today.

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 A.  Be careful; the question asked “would NOT confirm.” Looking at the chart, you can see if you have a sample with a concentration of a specific amount of anything other than 02 (oxygen),  it will match an entry in the chart for either a depth of 15 or 20.  If it is zero for oxygen, you can’t tell what the depth is.  It could be 10, 15, or 20.

This question is a good example of how to prepare for the ACT Science Test.  Practice reading charts and graphs.  Work on your speed.  Don’t waste time reviewing science topics; you couldn’t possibly figure out what to review since the science knowledge that shows up on the test is very unpredictable. 