SAT Question of the Day & ACT QotD May 10

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. If you are seeing this in my blog, do the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link: (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 C.  Because x/y is equal to positive 1, x and y have to have the same absolute value and they have to both be positive or negative.  If they have different signs, then the quotient of x/y would be negative.  In quadrants I and III, both x and y have the same signs; they are both + in quadrant I and – in quadrant III.

This question reminds me of something about the difference between the SAT and ACT: on the SAT, they tell you facts about math that you need to memorize for the ACT.  For example, this SAT question labels the quadrants I-IV.  The ACT sometimes doesn’t.  Be sure you memorize the location of each quadrant.

Let’s see what the ACT folks have in store for us this morning. (The ACT staff does not put a date on their questions so if you click on an archived blog, you’ll get today’s question and the old explanation. Sorry. The SAT staff has dated their questions; so, the archive is helpful. The ACT folks simply don’t do that.)

Oh good, more math.  My brain is already in “math mode” thanks to the SAT question.  Flipping back and forth from math to reading and then to writing and back to reading or math is what you are going to face on the SAT.  On the ACT, you won’t be doing that.  For example, all the ACT math questions are in one section.  Depending on your preferences, if you have any, you may find the SAT or ACT more “friendly” due to this format difference.

The answer is A.  For probability, the calculation is always “the number of correct ways divided by the number of possible ways something can happen.”  In this case, after we get rid of one yellow balloon there are 8 possible yellow balloons to pick out of the 13 possible selections of balloons that are left.

Be sure to review the probability section in my materials.  There’s a question just like this.  It will teach you the difference between “with” and “without” replacement.  In this question, the yellow balloon was not “replaced” or put back into the group from which we had to pick.  Be careful on test day to make sure if there is a similar question that you pay attention to whether there is replacement or not.

I hope your week has been a productive one and you are about to have an enjoyable weekend.


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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