Mar 22 ACT & SAT Question of the Day

If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email. If you are seeing this in my blog, do the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link: (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 A.  In formal written English,  “also” is placed with a subject and a predicate, not just with a verb.  (Refer to:  While I’m discussing the sentence, there’s another issue with it that you should avoid which is active vs. passive voice.  It would have been better for the sentence to have been written in the active voice.  That is, “…flags represent youth groups…” would be better than, “…flags are used…”  In addition, when writing, it is better to avoid using the same word (“representing” and “represent”) in a sentence or a nearby sentence.  I would have used “to symbolize” rather than “to represent” in the last part of the sentence.  Needless to say, while I got this question correct, there were some other things in the sentence that Ms. Murphy, my favorite English teacher, would have marked as improper on my essay and made me fix them!

Let’s see what the ACT folks have 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 D.  Keep the tense of all the verbs consistent with one another.  Make sure when you see a verb that is underlined that it is in sync with the verbs that are not underlined since they dictate the tense of the sentence.  In this case, “shone” is past tense and not underlined; therefore, the underlined verb “will have to” has to be past tense which it isn’t.  That makes it wrong.  Fix the sentence by picking answer D, “could” which is past tense.

If you are new to the blog you haven’t read my rants about the ridiculous, misleading “directions” for the ACT English Test.  They tell you to read the entire passage through once and then come back and do the questions.  Don’t do that.  It wastes time and doesn’t help.  For example, look at the underlined group of words in this sentence and all the other underlined material in the rest of the passage.  You can answer the related questions without knowing the context of the sentence(s).  That is almost always the case.  Even the exceptions only require you to read a sentence or two around the underlined word or words.

The best approach is just to start reading the passage and fix the problems as you come to them.  Make sure you carefully read the question associated with the underlined portion of the sentence and not just pick an answer.  The questions are sometimes surprising.  For example, they may ask you which answer is “NOT” wrong.  If you haven’t read the question, you could waste time trying to come up with an answer for the wrong question and get it wrong.  Be careful.

Enjoy and have a productive Friday.  It’s the only one you are going to get this week!!

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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