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

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 C.  The non-underlined main verb, have made, sets the tense of the sentence as present perfect tense.  That means all the other verbs must also be in the present tense.  Therefore, the underlined verb, remained, is wrong because it is in the past tense; so, you have to change it to the present tense, remain.  If you look at the meaning of the sentence, it is clear that biologists have been working on the human genome, but the “genetic roots…” still are not known; clearly present tense is needed.

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 H.  Daily is an adverb indicating she had to cope every day with daunting tasks.  So, it needs to be close to the verb flying because she went flying every day in unstable machines.  Having the word daily as it is in the original sentence or the other two alternative locations (Answers G and J) doesn’t make sense.  For example, what is a “daily foreign language?”


QotD Words of “Wiz-dom”:

Today’s grammar questions remind me that for many students the SAT Writing Test and ACT English Test are the most challenging sections of the test.  They usually require the greatest time commitment.  If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is find a good, online grammar course.  I suggest

On the other hand, there may be a way around the problem!  Many colleges and scholarship sources don’t pay attention to the SAT Writing score and you’ll only have to concern yourself with improving your SAT Reading and Math scores.  However, because the ACT English Test score is always part of your ACT score, you will be required to spend time improving it.

Of course, the ACT Science Test is also going to be part of your ACT score and there’s no science section on the SAT.  Is your Science score hurting your overall average for the four ACT sections?  If so, maybe taking the SAT is an option for you.  Preparing for two sections is easier than preparing for four.

Who said the ACT is easier?  It is for a minority of students (approximately 15% of students score significantly higher on the ACT) but most (approximately 70%) students get comparable scores on the two tests.  That leaves about 15% who get a significantly better score on the SAT.  However, do you think it is easier to raise your SAT Reading and Math scores or your ACT Reading, Math, English and Science scores?  You decide and then persevere by preparing.

My favorite quote regarding perseverance is what Winston Churchill said: “If you are going through hell, keep going.”  Of course, he was referring to the experience of World War II.  However, many students feel the same way about getting through the SAT/ACT experience.

Yes, for most students it is no fun and for many it can be described as being in hell.  Well, you can either stay there or get out.  Practicing consistently and working hard will get you through.  Don’t stay there!

In addition, consider what I had to say about preparing for the SAT and ACT.  Perhaps your “hell” is much easier to get through if it is SAT “hell” rather than ACT “hell.”  I don’t think these two “hells” are the same size!

Celebrate.  It’s Friday!

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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