SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): May 19, 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.

Welcome back to my blog.  It is nice to return to modern day and have all the conveniences related to it.  I just spent the last week in the 1940’s–no Internet and no TV!

The answer is C.  The test writer’s explanation sure works.  You can set it up as a proportion or ratio of 6/10,000 = 3/5,000.  I did in my head in a similar way.  I realized that if it were 6% and not .o6%, it would be 6 out of 100; so it would be 3 out of 50.  BUT, .06% requires two more zeros which would be 5,000.

Another easy way is to do a little algebra.  Set up an equation.  Change the .06% to .0006.  Then .0006x = 3.  That isn’t so bad.

Another way to do it is use Pillar V: The Answer Is on the Page.  .06% of which answer is 3?  Because we always start with the middle answer, using Answer C first was really quick because .06% of 5,000 is 3!

When the math is this easy, why do you think more than half of the students who are doing this question are getting it wrong?  It’s because high school students haven’t seen percentage questions in a long time.  There will be a lot of math on the test that you haven’t seen for a while.  You need to review that elementary and middle school math that you haven’t used in years.  Use the free math diagnostic on my website to get a list of SAT and ACT math topics; check out the ones that require you to do a review.  Here’s the link:

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.

Same old, same old.  That’s what they have.  The ACT people repeat their questions so often that I don’t even read the question!  I only have to look at the answers.  I wish they would use some of the money they get from the millions of students who take the test and add some new questions to their website.  The constant repetition of questions is just a way to save money–shame on them.  No wonder after a month or so, students quit doing their Question of the Day.  (Hey, ACT staff, are you listening?)

The answer is B.  Wrong answers almost always add to or disagree with the passage.  Answers A, C, and D certainly are easily eliminated using my Insertable strategy.  Learn how to use it by reading more on my free website or watch Video #305.  That’s where I discuss all the characteristics of right and wrong answers on reading tests — and you definitely want to be familiar with them.

QotD Words of “Wiz-dom”:

Patience.  I re-learned how important it is to be patient last week.  Getting frustrated and aggravated with a task is counterproductive.  Students often focus on the negative and don’t pay enough attention to the progress they are making.  Better test scores don’t happen in a few hours.  They could take months.  Be sure to revel in your progress and keep at it until you are getting the scores you need and deserve.

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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