Mar 28 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.  “Between” requires an “and” as in “Fort Pierce is between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale,”  or “On the number line, 1/2 is between 0 and 1.” The appropriate preposition to go with “1508 to 1512″ is from.  For example, “If you drive from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale, you will drive through Fort Pierce.”  Be sure you review a list of the common errors in spoken English that are found on the SAT and ACT so that you can recognize and avoid them on test day.  I suggest  Just browse through the list and select the items that are of interest.  Doing so will certainly improve your score.

Let’s see what the ACT folks have in store for us. (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 B.  The best technique for identifying “best” answers and eliminating “wrong” answers is to use the Wizard’s Insertable rule.  When you insert Roman Numeral I into the passage, it disagrees with the story which makes it wrong.  Line 28 tells us there were “oath-helpers” in trials by compurgation.  Roman Numeral III is wrong because it adds to the story when we insert it into the passage; we are not told in the passage that trials by compurgation were usually used for peasants and persons with a bad reputation.  Roman Numeral II is supported by lines 36 and 37 which tell us that trial by ordeal was used for “more serious crimes.”  Therefore, we can infer that compurgation was used for less serious crimes.  In addition, we are told that ordeals were used for peasants and persons of bad reputation.  That also helps us eliminate Roman Numeral III.

This question helps us understand some major differences between the SAT and ACT.  First, the SAT usually provides us line references so that we know where to find answers in the passage.  The ACT doesn’t provide them nearly as often.  So, expect to spend a lot of time trying to find answers in the passage.  Using the topic sentences of paragraphs will help; also underline key words and phrases as you read the passage.  Second, the ACT Reading Test has several detail questions like this one.  The SAT rarely asks detail questions.  That often makes ACT questions easy to get correct once you find the lines that support your answer.  When taking the SAT, the lines are easy to find (because they tell you where to look) but deciphering the meaning of the lines is the challenge for getting the question correct.  One format may be easier for you than the other.  Be sure you try both tests.

I hope you have a pleasant day.

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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