# SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Apr. 22, 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=20140422&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.)

The answer is E.  Do you remember how to “plug in” or “substitute” numbers for unknowns?  If so, this question is pretty simple as long as you also remember how to multiply and add fractions.  They  tell you a = 7/2; so plug 7/2 into the original function (equation) for a.  Then they tell you f(x) = f(3/2); so plug 3/2 into the function for x.  You get 3/2 + [7/2(3/2)].  Multiplying the fractions gives you 21/4 which you have to add to 3/2 or 6/4.  21/4 plus 6/4 results in 27/4, Answer E.

This question reminds me of the Wizard’s Pillar VI: Don’t Be Intimidated.  If this question looked a little challenging to you, take a deep breath and remember my favorite approach for doing math questions.  First, ask, “What did they tell me?”  Then ask, “What do I know because they told me that?”  They told you what a and x equal.  So, you know when you plug them into the original function, you just need to do what they told you to do: multiply two fractions (7/2 and 3/2) and then add that to 3/2.  That wasn’t so bad.  Nothing intimidating there.

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

As always, just like in the SAT and ACT Reading Tests, remember the Wizard’s Pillar V: The Answer Is on the Page.  The foundational rule for both reading tests and the Science  Test is that they will give you all the information you’ll need to answer the questions.  No prior knowledge is required.  (I’ve only seen two exceptions to this statement in over 20 years of doing test prep.)

The answer is F.  They tell you in the description of Experiment 1 that 1 meter of the stick is exposed.  In Experiment 2, they tell you that Experiment 1 was repeated the following year.  That means the length of the stick had to be the same both years.  The other answers disagree with the information you are given; therefore, they can easily be eliminated.

QotD Words of “Wiz-dom”:

One element of my program that is often overlooked is the value of the Pillars of Test-taking “Wiz-dom.”  They are the six habits of extraordinary test takers and should be learned by all students who are preparing for tests.  They are simple and straightforward techniques that apply over and over.  Study and use them — and your test-taking skills will improve and your test scores will rise!

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and ACT Wizard”