SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Oct. 20, 2013

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. If you are seeing this in my blog, do the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link: (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 A.  As always, use the topic of the sentence to predict a word for the blank before looking at the answers.  Imagine this is the topic sentence of a paragraph; the right answer is going to be a word you would expect to see somewhere in the paragraph.  We are told Ray (the subject of the sentence) gambles almost every day.  That’s the topic.  So, I predicted “a daily, persistent” gambler.  That makes the best pick Answer A, inveterate, which is a word most students don’t know but what about the other words?  You probably could eliminate at least 3 of the other answers.   Now you could guess at the remaining words.  The topic is always the key to answering Sentence Completion questions.

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 F.  We need a new paragraph because the story is shifting from Mickey Mantle back to the professor.  Eliminate H and J.  The new paragraph isn’t a “summary.”  Eliminate G.  That leaves us with “NO CHANGE.”

Sometimes, but not usually, you will need to read above and below the lines in the question.  In this case, I read the last sentence in the previous paragraph and the first sentence in the new paragraph because the question is about the beginning of a new paragraph and I needed to know if there is a break in the topic. The sentences take me from Mickey Mantle to the professor.  That’s a break.  That made the answering the question easy.

On the other hand, completely disregard the “directions” that tell you to read the whole passage prior to answering questions.  I’ve never seen a time on the ACT when that was a good idea.  It’s always a bad idea because it slows you down.  Just answer the questions as you get to them.

The next two weeks are going to be very important for hundreds of thousands of students.  The ACT is this week and the SAT is next week.  Be sure you are incorporating a little test prep in your daily schedule.  Reading my daily blog is going to be helpful because it will keep you focused.  Think about your weaknesses.  What needs reviewing?  Spend some time working on practice questions related to those topics.  Be sure to email me with questions.  Don’t wait until the night before.  A little work each day will be the key to your success.

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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