Mar 25 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 D.  There are two problems with the original “sentence.”  First, it isn’t a sentence because there’s isn’t a verb that goes with the subject stadium; so, we need to add one.  Second, the relative clause that ends the sentence needs to be near “Arthur Ashe” because it describes him and not “New York City.”  Answer D solves both of those problems.  None of the other alternatives provide a verb that goes with the subject of the sentence.  They all just have verbs used as adjectives (participles) that are part of descriptive phrases which keeps them from providing an appropriate verb form  to complete the sentence.

Let’s see what the ACT question can teach 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 question teaches us the ACT folks need to get some new questions!  We just saw this one within the last few weeks.

The answer is A.  The O2 concentration doesn’t change from the depths of 10-20; therefore, O2 concentration would NOT help us.  Answers B, C, and D would determine the depth since their concentrations vary as the samples get deeper.

The most important thing to learn about the ACT from this question is that you don’t need to review any science before taking the test.  You couldn’t possibly review the right science.  In addition, the test writers explain the science anyway.  For example, you don’t even need to understand what the items mean that have different concentrations!  The column headings could be labeled items #1 through #7 and remain mysteries.  You just have to match them up with the items in the answers.  In this case, you don’t need to know what “pH” is; you just need to find the column with pH concentrations and match it with Answer D so that you could eliminate it.

What you need to practice is reading charts, graphs, and tables.   And you need to become comfortable reading them quickly and accurately.  Get your hands on some released ACT tests.  They are available in the book “Real ACT Prep Guide” and there are some practice questions available on the ACT website.  Also, there is usually one that is available in your counselor’s office.  The key to your practice should be to not get distracted by the science content because the passage will explain what is necessary.  (In today’s sample question, for example, the meaning of the items in the columns wasn’t important.  What pH is is really irrelevant.) You need to improve your chart reading skills and speed by practicing.

If you are on spring break this week, use your spare time to get ready for the next ACT and SAT tests.  They will arrive more quickly than you think.

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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