Question of the Day: SAT and ACT May 19

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.  You certainly should take a look at the SAT test writer’s explanation because it explains all the math.  However, if you were to do all that math for the SAT math section whenever you could do lots of math to get a right answer, I doubt that you will finish on time.  There are certainly much quicker ways to do SAT questions which will leave you with time to check you work.

Here’s what I did: I always think about the left side of a function as y and the value in the parentheses tells me what x is.  So, for example, f(4) = 4 says, “y is 4 when x is 4” and f(2n) = 2f(n) says, “y is 2 times y (that’s because 2f(n) means 2y) when x is 2 times x (look at the parentheses on the left side of the equation).”  In other words, y = x!  Look especially at what they tell you and you will see the amount in the parentheses (4) is the same as the right side of the equation (4).  So, no matter what you plug in for x, y has to be equal to x.  The only possible answer is B.  None of the other answers have a right side of the equation that is equal to the value in the parentheses.

Let’s see what kind of Wizardry we need to know to do the ACT Question of the Day. (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.)

I’m really tired of seeing this passage.  How about you?

The answer is F.  The O in MOPP is really important as is FRaS.  These are the two key strategies for all reading tests that especially pay off on the ACT.  The test writers don’t tell you where to go find the answer very often.  The key is using the topic sentences as a road map for finding the answers. The MOPP and FRaS strategies do that.

The question is about “trial by ordeal.”  Let’s find the paragraph that has a topic sentence that tells us it is a paragraph about “ordeals.”  We find that in line 36.  The paragraph tells us in lines 53-56 that a clean wound meant the accused would be considered innocent.  Now you just use “I” from PICK.  Only Answer F inserts without adding or disagreeing with the passage.  The other three answers don’t “fit” into the story.  We’re all done.

Enjoy your day.  I hope you’ve gotten started on studying for your final exams and your final projects and papers are ready to be turned in or at least in need of just one more edit.  Use your time wisely.


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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