SAT & ACT Question of the Day: Jan. 24, 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 D.  Well, this is a nasty question because you have to fix two very common errors!  First, the sentence is missing a verb to go with the subject of the sentence “stadium.”  Second, there is a relative (adjectival) clause that describes Arthur Ashe and it needs to be near his name and not “New York City.”  Answer B solves the second problem but not the first.  Answer C solves the first problem but not the second.  Answer D is the “Goldilocks” answer because it is just right because it solves both problems.  Answer E provides a verb but it is not in the active form; so, throw it out.

There are a number of grammar/composition errors that typically show up on the SAT and ACT.  I’ve developed a list of them so that you can be better prepared.  You can review the list and practice the common mistakes that show up on the test.  You can get the list on my free website or review Video #9.  Both resources can help you raise your score.  Enjoy!

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.

We need to start a national campaign to get the ACT folks to use some new questions.  I’ve seen this one at least three times in the last two months!  No wonder students tell me they don’t use the ACT QotD very much.  I’m convinced that the ACT folks have a small pool of questions and one is randomly picked based on topic (reading, math, grammar, science) each day.  They make plenty of money; so, I’m guessing they can afford to include some new questions.

The answer is J.  You can probably answer this question based on your personal experience.  Keep in mind the data presented on the test will never contradict reality.  Aren’t shadows longer in the morning and late afternoon than during the middle of the day?  Sure they are.  That’s answer J.  You can also check out Table 1.  The data is in sync with what you already know–long morning and afternoon shadows and short ones in the middle of the day.

Do you know what the most important thing is to learn from this question?  First, you’ll never predict the science knowledge that will be on the test; so don’t worry about reviewing science information as part of your test prep.  Second, they’ll explain the science on the test which is all the more reason to not review science topics.  Third, this is a science reasoning test.  You need to apply scientific principles and the most important skill is analyzing and interpreting data.  That is what you need to practice prior to the test.  Get your hands on some actual ACT Science Tests and study the way the test writers present data and ask questions about the charts and graphs in those tests–the more the better.  Work on your speed because that is the major challenge of the test.  Let’s get to work!  Only practice will raise your score.

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.

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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