Mar 6 ACT & SAT Question of the Day (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 E.  Using the Wizard’s strategy of determining the topic of the sentence and using it to predict an answer quickly leads to the right answer.

Maya is usually “inattentive” but when writing her essay she was “uncharacteristic.”  I knew a good prediction would be the opposite of inattentive; so, I predicted attentive.  My second prediction was based on what was “typical” of her.  I chose inattentive.  Pay careful attention to what I did.  I didn’t try to make up new words;  I used words that were in the original sentence.  Doing so speeds you up and makes you more accurate.  While you can’t always use words from the sentence to make your prediction, it sure can help when you can.

Using my first prediction of “attentive,” I eliminated C and D.  Then I only looked at the second words for A, D, and E.  Only E, careless, matched my prediction of inattentive.  If I had looked for my second prediction first, I wouldn’t have even had to bother with my first word!  None of the wrong answers for the second blank means careless.  Sometimes this happens for the first blank.  Don’t think that there is an advantage to using the second blank first.  There isn’t.  Start with the blank that you feel is the better prediction.  In this case, I liked them both.  So, I started with the first word.

Let’s jump over to the ACT website and take a look at what they prepared for our test prep pleasure! (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 ACT explanation provides plenty of detail about why B is correct.  Read it.  However, since this question is never going to be on the test, let’s use it to learn something about the ACT.  Their so called “directions” are lousy!!  They tell you to read the whole passage and then come back and answer questions.  That’s simply awful.  First, that is not a “direction” and second, it is “advice” and it is terrible advice.  Doing so simply slows you down.  Do the underlined parts one at a time as you work your way through the passage.  Usually, simply reading the sentence with the underlined part is sufficient for getting the answer.  Rarely (and this is an example) do you have to read more than a sentence and they often tell you right in the question to read more.  Disregard their awful advice in the directions.

Take a deep breath.  It’s “hump” day.  It is the middle of the week and everything is downhill from here.  Enjoy.

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.
Category: SAT & ACT Question Of The Day No Comments

Comments are closed.