# SAT & ACT Question of the Day: May 2, 2014

If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to sat.collegeboard.org below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email.

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?questionId=20140502&oq=1 (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.)

Reading this blog is 10% about learning how to answer today’s questions and 90% learning how to apply strategies and analyze questions you may see on test day.

The answer is D.  As always, identify the topic of the sentence and predict a word for the blank before looking at the answers.  The neighbor would need to be pretty “bold” to break Kelly’s snow blower and then ask to borrow her new one.  So, what answer is a synonym for “bold”?  “Audacity” fits just fine.

Using this strategy involves Pillars II and V.  You begin by restating (II) the sentence as a topic–“this sentence is about the boldness of the neighbor.”  Then the answer is on the page (V).  Simply eliminate answers that aren’t consistent with your prediction.  Pick the answer that’s on the page that is consistent with your prediction.  If you don’t know what some of the words mean, eliminate answers that you know don’t fit your prediction and then guess.

Let’s see what the ACT folks have for us today.

The answer is G.  Sure you can do it the way the ACT folks explain it.  That approach works but it takes a lot longer and is prone to making simple algebra mistakes.  There’s absolutely no reason to solve for x and y individually.  That’s a terrible waste of time.  Let’s do it the easy way.

Add the two equations together and you get 3x + 3y = 6.  Divide both sides of the equation by 3 and you get x + y = 2.  All done.

Sometimes I wonder if the test writers intentionally make their explanations confusing to intimidate you (Pillar VI).  Don’t fall for their tactics.  Practice their questions using my strategies and you’ll soon learn how to improve your speed and accuracy.  Doing so will increase your confidence and performance on test day.

QotD Words of “Wiz-dom”:

Are you taking the SAT in the morning?  Then here’s what you need to do because your preparations the night before the test are important.

First, stay home and relax.  After dinner, do whatever you enjoy.  Read a book, watch TV, listen to music, chill in your room.

Third, don’t study for the SAT!  If you don’t know it yet, you won’t learn it tonight.  You want to focus on something other than the test.

Fourth, don’t communicate with the outside world.  No phone calls, no text messaging, no chatting, no smoke signals from the driveway!  Nobody is going to give you any information that will raise your score.  However, you could get some bad news that will distract you and cost you sleep and cause you to lose focus during the test.

Fifth, plan ahead so you can get a good night’s sleep.  Do something that makes you drowsy and try to get a full night’s rest.  That will help you be at your best.

Good luck on the test.  You have prepared so go in with confidence that you can solve most of the puzzles you will see.

Have a great day.

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and ACT Wizard”