SAT Question of the Day (ACT bonus!): May 4, 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.)

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.  What a surprise!  I cannot remember the last time the SAT staff’s explanation and the way I did a math problem were the same.  Go ahead and read their explanation and it will save me the trouble of drawing the figure.  Calculating the area of the rectangle as if it were whole and then subtracting the two missing pieces is surely the easiest way to do this problem.

They like to make up questions like this.  What is important in the given information  is all the angles are right angles; otherwise, you couldn’t do the question.  They do the same thing with right triangle questions.  Take a look at Question #16 on page 789 in The Official SAT Study Guide and you will see an example of what I mean.  To do this question, you need to draw a line from A to D.  Now draw a line straight down from D.  Then extend line AB to the right.  Now you have a right triangle with sides of 20 and 15 with a hypotenuse of 25.  Finally, just subtract 25 from 35 and you have your answer.

The pattern I’m pointing out is the test writers like to give you incomplete figures.  The key to answering the questions is they tell you there are right angles joining the sides of the figures.  As is the case in these two examples, you simply draw a line or two and complete the figure.  Then getting the right answer is much easier.

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.  This question exemplifies the foundational rule for the ACT Science Test which is Pillar V: The Answer Is On The Page.  You don’t need to review science for the test; they give you all the science information you need to answer the questions.  They tell you that the stake is 1 meter high and the shadow has to be as long as the stake.  Look at the charts.  There’s only one shadow measurement of 1 meter.  It is in Experiment 2 on Day 3.  All done.

QotD Words of “Wiz-dom”:

The most important thing you can learn from practicing is to recognize the patterns you see on the test and to use your strategies to answer the questions.  It isn’t whether you get any particular question of the day right or wrong because it will never be on the test when you take it.  But other questions like it will show up.  (That is why they are called standardized tests.)  Today’s QotD’s are perfect examples.  You can learn a great deal about the nature of the test and be prepared for the types of questions you will see.  That is why practice will raise your score.

Enjoy your day and I wish you the best of luck on your AP exams this week.  When you take your AP Lang test, don’t forget PICK!

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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