Question of the Day (SAT & ACT): Oct. 19, 2013

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 B.  The key to ratio questions is the sum of the parts.  When you add the parts you get a common denominator for the fractions that represent the numbers in the ratio.  The numbers in the ratio become the numerators.  For example, in this question, a ratio of 3:1 has a sum of 4.  The common denominator is 4.  The numerators are 3 and 1.  That tells us that 3/4 of the first solution is water and 1/4 is alcohol.  So, 3/4 of the 8 gram solution is 6 grams of water and 1/4 is 2 grams of alcohol.  Doing the same thing for the 12 gram solution, we get 2/3 of it is water (8 grams) and 1/3 (4 grams is alcohol).  Now just add the 2 grams of alcohol in the first solution to the 4 grams in the second and you have a total of 6 grams of alcohol.  6 grams out of the total mass (20 grams) of the two solutions is 6/20 or 3/10, Answer B.

I did this question in my head without doing any calculations.  Do you see how that was possible?  I just played the game.  Before reading my explanation, see if you can see a quick way to do it.

I saw the first solution is 1/4 alcohol and the second solution is 1/3 alcohol.  So, I know that the final solution has to be between 1/4 (.25) and 1/3 (.33) when they get mixed together.  The only possible answer is 3/10 (.30)!  The test writers hate for me to show you how easy the test is!

Often the Wizard’s strategy for doing the questions is much faster than the “math teacher” way.  That’s why you need to practice.  You’ll soon discover the best way for you to do the questions.  For some, it will be the math teacher way but many of you will find the Wizard’s way is easier and faster.

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.

C’mon ACT guys; get some new materials!  It isn’t any fun when you ask a question so many times that we don’t even need to go back and look at the passage anymore.  Get to work.  Learn from the SAT folks who don’t repeat questions.  Certainly you are selling enough tests that you can afford a programmer to include some new materials on your website.  Besides the corn has been harvested and it’s getting too cold in Iowa to be outside.  Go back in the house and do something useful. Please.

The answer is F.  Answering questions for the Science Test usually involves using the same strategy we use for the Reading Test, PICK.  Just Insert the answers into the passage.  You’ll notice all the wrong answers add to or disagree with the information you are given.  That’s sure easy, isn’t it?

As you go along in life remember that the decisions you make say more about your character than anything else.  Also, often the right decision is the hard decision.  It may require you to do something that is different from your friends.  That will make it extra hard but it will be the right thing to do.  You will be stronger for having done the right thing and your decision will hopefully teach others that they should be making better decisions.

Have a great Saturday.

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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