Question of the Day: June 8

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, dco 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.  This is a great example of why everyone should practice for the test.  Among many others, this is a common mistake that shows up on the test.  I hadn’t read more than a few words of the introductory modifying phrase when I knew what the mistake would be!  It is common to see an introductory phrase like this one that modifies the subject of the sentence BUT after the comma ending the phrase, the noun that is being modified does not immediately follow the comma.  Some other noun that isn’t modified is found there.  That is bad compositional form.  The modified noun should follow the phrase ASAP!    In this case, it is the publishers who are being described.  So, they need to immediately follow the modifying phrase.  That is true for Answers D and E but E has a grammar error in it which makes it wrong.  (Blocking is the wrong form of the verb.)

The moral of this story is you need to practice with actual released tests and watch for the patterns in the types of questions that are asked.  This strategy is also true for the other sections of the test.

Let’s see what we can do to demystify the ACT. (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.  I got this one in two seconds.  How did I do that?  I remembered the question from the previous times it has shown up on the ACT website!  Even a mouse can learn to run a complicated maze if he has practiced it often enough.

Be sure to use my “add” strategy.  If an answer adds to the original passage, it is wrong.  All the other answers simply don’t fit when you plug them in.  Get rid of them and you are left with the right answer.

Enjoy your 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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