SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Oct. 22, 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 E.  When you FOIL (x + y)2, you get x2 + 2xy + y2.  For x2 + 2xy + y2 to be equal to x2 + y2, 2xy must be equal to 0 which makes III true.  (xy must be 0 in order for 2xy = 0.)  The only way for 2xy = 0 to be true is for either x or y or both have to be equal to 0.  That eliminates I because y could be 0 which means x does not have to be 0.  When you FOIL II, you get -2xy which would also have to be 0; so, II has to be true.  That leaves you with both II and III having to be true.

This is a really hard question.  Only 35% of the students are getting it right.  It is probably not worth fretting about it if you missed it.  Why?  Did you set a target score as I recommend in Lesson #1?  I bet you don’t have to get the hardest question correct to make your target score.  Too many students don’t take the time to set their target score and determine how many questions they can skip and miss and still make their target and live happily ever after!  If you set a target score, you will find it will likely reduce your stress when you take the test.  You’ll have more time per questions since you won’t worry about doing every question on the test.

I really don’t like these Roman Numeral questions because you have to answer three questions to get one point.  I suggest you do them last unless they are really early in the test section which means they are easy.

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.  I always suggest that you do a “triple true-false” or “Roman Numeral” question like this last, especially if you have trouble finishing on time.  (Didn’t I just say that for the SAT math question?  It applies to a reading question as well!)

However, the PICK (Video #3 on my website) strategy still works and leads you to the right answer.  When you insert answers I and III into the passage, they add and disagree with what you have read.  That means they cannot be correct.  Throw them out and you are left with II.  When you insert II into the story it doesn’t add or disagree with the passage.  In addition, lines 36-38 paraphrase II,

making it the best answer to PICK.

Be sure you read my archived blog on what to eat for breakfast if you are taking the ACT or SAT soon.  The difference between eating the right breakfast and the wrong one can certainly affect your score.

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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