SAT & ACT Question of the Day: Jan. 08, 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 A.

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 “dramatist” and we are told that his “unhappiness” stems from his lack of funds, etc.  That’s the topic: the guy is unhappy because things aren’t going well.  We need to predict a word for the blank that is consistent with “unhappy.”  Sometimes I just use a word that is in the sentence because then I know it has to be consistent.  How about using “unhappy?”

Which answer is a synonym for “unhappy?”  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.

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.

Nuts!  I was hoping the ACT folks would develop some new questions over the course of the holidays.  No such luck.  Maybe if they would do that, their QotD would become more popular with students.

The answer is J.  Which answer is consistent with the tables?  That’s the key to science questions.  You can see that as the day progresses from sunrise to sunset, the shadows start by getting shorter and then start getting longer after noon (C).   The only graph that goes down to start off after sunrise is J.  F and G go up and H doesn’t change.  How hard was that?

Have you ever noticed that shadows are longer early and late in the day than they are in the middle of the day?  I bet you have.  You could use your prior knowledge to answer the question.  You don’t need to because the test writers will give you the information you need to answer the question.  However, the science on the test will never be inconsistent with reality.  (For example, on the test the shadows would NOT get longer as the morning progressed.)  So, you can take advantage of prior knowledge to speed you up in cases like this.

For those of you who are taking final exams during the next few weeks, be sure you are setting a schedule that provides you time for that.  If you are taking the SAT at the end of the month, be sure you registered for the “Question and Answer” service.

I hope things warm up where you are today.  If school is closed, use the time wisely at home.

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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