Question of the Day: SAT & ACT May 15

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.  You need a clear subject that goes with “makes,” the predicate for this sentence.  All the other options, including the original underlined words, are unclear, awkward, and/or wordy.  Yuck.  “Lack of water makes…” the subject clear and concise.  It is the winner.

By the way, devoid is a favorite word for the SAT test writers.  Make sure you remember it.

Let’s see what we can do with 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.)

The answer is H.  To me, the biggest challenge ACT test takers have is finding the answers in the passage.  Unlike the SAT, there are few line references in the questions, therefore, you spend a lot of time searching for answers.  My “Organization” strategy helps as does “FRaS.”  This question is a general one about all forms of medieval trail so the answer is going to be found in the first paragraph/introduction or the last paragraph/conclusion because all the other paragraphs are about specific types of trials.  Sure enough, you find the answer in two places: the first and last paragraphs.  Lines 7-8 tell you that one person accused the other and lines 74-76 which makes the answer even more clear.

How do you pick the right answer?  Use the Wizardly strategy “PICK.”  The I in PICK stands for insertable.  The wrong answers all add or disagree with the passage when they are inserted into the passage.  Read more about this strategy on my website or watch DVD #3.  They will really help raise your reading score.

You’re half way through the week.  Start studying for those final exams; they will be here sooner than you think.


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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