SAT & ACT Question of the Day: Mar. 5, 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.)

Brad said it best when I tutored him last night and he commented, “The math isn’t hard; it is how they phrase the questions on the SAT.”  Pillar IV: Restate the Given Information is a global test-taking strategy that you need to practice and master.  Then you will understand Brad’s wisdom and see your score really improve.

The answer is E.  They tell you f(x) means the same thing as y on the coordinate grid.  Then ask you how many times does y = 0.2.  Hold your pencil on the graph where y = 0.2 or you could draw a line in a test booklet.  It would be a line that is parallel to the x-axis about half way between the x-axis and 0.5.  Your pencil will intersect the graph four times.  That’s the answer.

Do you agree with Brad?  How hard was the math?  Not very.  You just had to translate or restate some things: “f(x)” means the say thing as y, “defined” just means the beginning and end of the graph, “function” means the line on the grid, and “values of x” means places on the graph as you look at the x-axis.  So, all the question really asked was how many times does the graph pass through the y-coordinate of 0.2?  Or, how many times is the graph 0.2 high?  That is easy; the translation must be hard because only 40% of the students are getting it correct.  Using my strategy of “Restating the Given Information,” sure makes it a lot easier.  Take a look at my website and/or Video Series 100 to get a full explanation of this Pillar and the other 5.  Then practice.

I wonder if the ACT folks have something new for us this morning.

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

Perfect question.  Brad’s statement is also true about the ACT Science Test!

The answer is D.  The Science Test provides the science and data you need to answer the questions.  They tell you, “When the Sun is at an altitude 45° above the horizon, a vertical object will cast a shadow with a length equal to the object’s height.”  You are told in the introduction that the stake is 1 meter tall.  Now look for an entry under “length” in the two tables that is 1.0 meter.  There it is–Table 2, Day 3.  Pillar II strikes again.  All done.

Remember to practice ACT Science questions; don’t bother to review science.  All the science you will need and all the data you need to answer the questions will be right there in the test booklet.  To prepare for the test, just practice with real ACT questions.  You’ll soon develop the necessary skills to improve your Science Test score.

Have a great day.  Before you fall asleep tonight, I hope you can reflect on it and say to yourself, “I made the most of it.”

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and 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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