Question of the Day–SAT & ACT May 12

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 E.  These questions are always more difficult when there is no mistake.  You may have been attracted to D, “theirs,” because you thought it should be “their’s.”  That is a common error.  The word “their” is already possessive; so, adding an apostrophe is incorrect.

Related issues are 1) “theirs” vs. “its”  and 2) “its” vs. “it’s.”  For the first issue, be sure that if you use “theirs,” the antecedent (noun that “theirs” replaces) is plural and not a “collective” noun because if it is a “collective” noun, you need “its.”  If you aren’t familiar with “collective” nouns like team, army, troop, class, etc., you need to do a little review.  The second issue of “its” vs. “it’s” has to do with a “possessive pronoun, “its,” vs. a contraction “it’s” which is short for “it is.”  Be careful and don’t confuse the two.  While you’re at it, also be careful with “their” vs. “there.”  (Thank you, Ms. Murphy, my ninth grade English teacher!)

Let’s check out the ACT question. (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.)

Oh no, not this one again.  I think I’ve seen it at least three times in the last few months.  Hey, ACT staff, if you are reading my blog, get some new material!

The answer is C.  Because the original stick was 1 meter high and the new height is 1/2 meter (that’s a lot of pounding!), the shadow would be 1/2 as long.  There’s nothing mysterious about that.

Always remember that when you are preparing for the ACT Science Test that you shouldn’t waste time reviewing science facts.  Focus your time on becoming faster at reading and interpreting charts and graphs.  The best way to do that is to get your hands on some real ACT tests and look at the passages.  To begin, skim the charts and graphs.  Then you should read the questions and return to the data displays to find the answers.  When you return to the information,then focus on the details you are given, not before you read the questions.

I’m going to have a great day.  Hope you do too.


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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