Question of the Day: September 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 D.  I’m told that t (the x-coordinate) is between 0 and 5; so, I know that v (the y-coordinate) is going to be on that part of the line.  In the range of t going from 0 to 5, y has a low point of 5 and a high point of 10, Answer D.

There’s a couple of things I want you to learn about the test from this question.  First, use my my mantra: What did the test writer tell me and what do I know because she told me that?  Keep in mind they don’t give me extra information unless it is part of a graph or table.  In this case, I was told that I only needed to pay attention to the range of t (or x) from 0 to 5.  Then I know that I only have to worry about v (or y) from x=0 to x=5.

Second, I can usually answer the questions about graphs of functions by simply reading a graph.  A related issue is Pillar VI: Don’t Be Intimidated by the Seemingly Difficult.  Often the function questions look complicated and appear as if you are going to be spending a lot of time playing with your calculator to get them right.  Before you wear out your batteries, take a few seconds and see if you really only need to employ a 5th grade math skill–reading a graph.  Save time and get more questions right at the same time.  That works!

Be sure you don’t simply focus on the question as a question!  Ask yourself, “What can I learn about the test from this question?”  Use it to learn the patterns that appear in the tests that makes them predictable.  That way when you take the test there will be far fewer surprises.

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.

Oh good, more math!  Oh, bad, it was just on the ACT Question of the day a few weeks ago.  C’mon guys, get some new questions.

What’s worse is that you’ll never see a question like this on the test.  They quit using them when they started allowing calculators.  How hard is it to do this question with one?  Not.

Before calculators you had to do some long division or know the trick.  If the sum of the digits is divisible by 3, then the number has to be divisible by 3.  Oh well, you may have learned something interesting about math but it’s too bad it won’t be useful on test day.

I hope the rest of your day is more useful than spending time doing this question!  Enjoy.

The SAT & ACT Wizard

PS: Videos 3 and 9 have more information about my math mantra and functions.




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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