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. If you are seeing this in my blog, do the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link:
http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?questionId=20131016&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 D. This is a rare day. The SAT staff and I did this math question the same way! Read their explanation and it saves me some time typing exponents which are a pain. The key thing to learn from this question is that the test writers frequently use bases for which one is a power of the other. For example, in this case, 27 is 3 to the third power. Other examples would be 64 is 4 to the third power and 16 is 2 to the 4th power. You need to recognize the powers of the numbers 2 through 5 and the fourth power is enough. So, my strategy is when you see exponent questions, check to see if the bases are related. If so, convert them to a common base and you’ll be on your way to getting a right answer.
The SAT and ACT test writers always show you the “math teacher” approach to a question. It will always work but it is often not the most efficient way to get to the answer. It certainly isn’t the only way to do the question. Usually there are other strategies for doing the math questions that are much quicker. Look in my blog archive and read October 13 for example. I show you two ways to do the question that take less than half the time the math teacher approach does.
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 B. This question shows up on the ACT Question of the Day every once in a while and I’ve written about it on a number of occasions previously. The thing to remember from it is that “shorter is better.” (I like to quote my favorite English teacher, Ms. Murphy.) It’s a great rule to remember for the ACT English Test and the SAT Writing Test. Also keep it in mind when you write essays, both for school and the tests. Another reason this is the best answer is that it summarizes the paragraph and provides a nice transition to the next paragraph. (That was another of Ms. Murphy’s lessons–use transition sentences.)
Best of luck on the PSAT today. May the Wizard be with you! Let me know how reading my blog has helped.
The SAT & ACT Wizard