Question of the Day: September 15, 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 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.

ACT Question of the Day: Use your “back” button to return to my website after reading the ACT Question of the Day.

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



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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