Question of the Day: September 15, 2013

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http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?questionId=20130915&oq=1 (This li5nk 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 A.  This is an SAT (and ACT) favorite.  There are two independent clauses (has a subject and predicate) in this sentence; you need to recognize they must be separated by a period, question mark, or exclamation point as needed or a semi-colon or a conjunction.  Another option is to make one of the clauses (usually the first one) a dependent clause.   Your English teacher refers to this grammatical error as a “comma splice.”  Because “It depends on” is what makes this an independent clause, you would need to change it to make the first part of the sentence a dependent clause.  “Depending on…” would work.

Learning to recognize and use compound sentences (two independent clauses connected by a semi-colon or conjunction) is a wonderful thing.  If you use one or two of them in your SAT and/or ACT essay, you’ll elevate the assessment of your essay in the minds of the readers.  They love “variety of sentence structure” and using compound sentences is a “beloved” example.

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

The answer is A.  Probability is expressed as a fraction on the tests.  The numerator is the “number of ways the event can occur correctly.”  The denominator is the “number of total possible ways.”  I write it shorthand as: # correct/# possible.

In this case, there are 8 yellow balloons left after the first one is sold.  There are 13 total balloons left after the first one is sold.  That leaves us with 8/13.

Both tests include simple probability questions like this one.  You also need to review a few more concepts related to probability: combinations, independent events, and mutually-exclusive events.  I discuss them on Video #8.  There are also really good practice questions in Demystifying the SAT & ACT, Official SAT Study Guide, and The Real ACT Prep Guide.  These are generally pretty easy questions if you’ve done some practice.

I hope you have a relaxing day.

The SAT & ACT Wizard