Question of the Day (SAT & ACT): Jan 7, 2014

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. (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.)

To begin, I’d like to say that I have a new respect for the Auburn football team.  They sure had a great game plan and executed it very well.  I had underestimated them and thought FSU would have a much easier time of it last night.  The Auburn team played really hard but learned what it is like to lose in the last few minutes of the game as they taught Georgia and Alabama this season.

The game just reminded me that you should never underestimate your opponent whether it is on the field or when you are preparing for the SAT and ACT tests.  You have to work hard to prepare your game plan so that you get the best score possible.

As the DJ on NPR said this morning, “Sometimes in life there are no easy ways out.”  I’m sure that preparing for the tests is one of those times; it will take dedication and hard work.  But it will pay off.  For example, over the weekend I heard from a student whose ACT score went up 7 points in reading and that had been the sole stumbling block to her future.

Okay, time to take a look at the SAT question.

The answer is B.  If your test prep game plan includes my free website or the video course (Video #8), this question was a snap.  Hopefully, you remember the rule regarding the slopes of perpendicular lines–they are the negative reciprocal of one another.  Line l has a slope of 5/2 (change in y from 0 to 5/change in x from 0 to 2).  Now we just need to change the sign to negative and invert the fraction: -2/5.  Shazaam–we are all done.

Yes, a lot of the geometry you’ll need to remember for the SAT is on the “cheat sheet” at the beginning of each math section.  However, all the math rules aren’t there and this question is an example of one that isn’t.  You need to practice so that you’ll know what to memorize.  The negative reciprocal rule should be memorized, because it shows up on most SAT and ACT tests.

Let’s see what the ACT folks have for us today.

ACT Question of the Day: Use your “back” button to return to my website after reading the ACT Question of the Day.

The answer is B.  Learn my PICK rules.  They will lead you to the best answer every time.  (That’s how the student I mentioned above did it!)  I’m not saying you’ll get a perfect score but the best answers on both the SAT and ACT follow a pattern.  Memorize and practice the pattern and your reading score will improve too.

The I in PICK is about answers being “Insertable.”  If an answer disagrees with the information in the passage, it isn’t insertable.  Compurgation required oath-helpers (line 28), and peasants and persons with bad reputations had trials by ordeal.  Take a look at lines 36-8.  Therefore, I and III disagree with the passage.  Throw them out because they don’t fit in the passage and you are left with II only.

I hope this information warms you up because the whole country seems to be in a deep freeze this morning.  It is even cold here in Florida!

The SAT & ACT 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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