SAT Question of the Day (ACT too): Jan. 9, 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.)

The answer is D.  Based on the fact that only about 1/3 of students are getting this question correct, it is a difficult question.  The grammar isn’t difficult but the way the question is written makes it hard.  Did you see the “signal” that the sentence is comparing two things: the rooms (not underlined) with floors (underlined)?  Oops, it’s illogical to make that comparison and so the underlined “floors” is wrong.

How do you avoid missing this issue and making this mistake?  Study my free website or check out the 900 video series and the related chapter in the student manual “Demystifying the SAT & ACT.”  They warn you about the grammar mistakes that you will see on the SAT and ACT.  If you had studied them you would have known that the test writers do inappropriate comparisons on the tests and you have to be on the alert for them.  Problem solved.

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.

Cool, more grammar; so, I don’t need to switch my brain into “math mode!”

The answer is C.  Grammatically there isn’t a problem with part 9 but it is still wrong.  Pay careful attention to this question because you can learn something important about those sly ACT writers.  At first “years later” appears to be okay because it is grammatically correct BUT in the previous sentence the author refers to 1926 and this sentence refers to 1927 which is only “a year later” and not “years later.”  So, it isn’t simply the grammar the test writers check; they also want you to edit for contextual issues–not often but it happens.  Be on the alert for their sneaky stuff!

I’m so happy that you are working on your scores a little at a time as part of a comprehensive approach to raising your scores.  The SAT and ACT are simply not tests that you can cram for the week before the test.  Help your friends put them in perspective.  A math or science test is only one of a bunch of tests you take to get your course grade.  Then your course grades collectively make up your GPA–that’s a lot of tests.  Then you take this one test (SAT or ACT) that even though the colleges will generally consider your best possible score, all by itself it is often weighted equally with your 3-year GPA.  That is too much influence on your future to be taken lightly.  I’m not convinced it is entirely fair but we aren’t going to change the system; therefore, we must accommodate to it.  Congrats to you for knowing how to play their game.

I hope you enjoy your day.

The SAT & 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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