SAT & ACT Question of the Day: Feb. 1, 2014

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. (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 C.

The key to Sentence Completion Questions is always to identify the topic of the sentence and then predict a word for each of the blanks before looking at the answers.  That is because the sentences will sound like topic sentences for paragraphs and the right answer will always sound like a word that belongs in the paragraph.

For example, in this case the subject of the sentence is the “food” and we are told that it “brings us together.”  That’s the topic: food brings us together.  We need to predict a word for the blank that is consistent with “bringing together.”  Sometimes I just use a word or phrase that is in the sentence because then I know it has to be consistent.  How about using “bringing together?”

Which answer means “bringing together?”  Even though you may not know some of the words, using your prediction, you should be able to eliminate words (and that’s a wonderful strategy).  Remember you only need to eliminate one answer before guessing at the remaining answers which statistically will raise your score.

Always remember the right answer will be about the topic of the sentence, not the subject!  Pick an answer that is consistent with what the sentence tells you about the subject (the sentence’s topic), not the subject itself.  This is a very important point and you should never forget it.

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 D.

Use what you learned about the reading test and apply the PICK strategy for the science test.  Focus on the I in pick; which answer is Insertable and fits best into the passage without adding to or disagreeing with the information you are given?

Look at the point in Figure 1 that is at 80 years.  It is late in the establishment of a pine forest.  Answers A, B, and C all disagree with the information.  Answer D neither adds nor disagrees; it fits just fine.  Goldilocks would say, “Go for it!”  Bubble it in on your answer sheet and move on.

Here’s a great strategy for the Science Test to pick up your speed.  Do NOT do the science passages in the order they are in the test booklet.  The seven passages include: 3 Reading Data passages, 3 Understanding Experiments passages, and 1 Disputing Scientists passage.  They will appear in random order in your test booklet.  Find and do the data passages first, then do the experiment passages, and always save the disputing scientists until last.  Read more about this issue on my free website and take a look at the science section of Video #10: The ACT Test.

It’s Saturday.  Congratulations for taking part of a day off school and working on your SAT/ACT score.  Enjoy your 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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