SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Oct 5, 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 C.  We always start by identifying the topic of the sentence and then make a prediction(s) for the blank(s).   We use key words and phrases that guide us in making our predictions.  “But” tells us that Maud appears the opposite of “great rage;” so “calm” would be a good prediction.  In the second part of the sentence we see “mask of compliance.”  I used “masks” as the prediction.  As I did in this case, it is often easy to use words that are in the sentence as the prediction.

When you have two blanks, start with one you think is better than the other.  I like “masks.”  Looking at the answers for the second blank, Answers C and D are synonyms for my prediction, mask.  Now I get to save time because I only have to worry about the first words for those two answers.  A, B, and E have been eliminated.  Answer C, docile, works and D, uncontrolled, doesn’t.  All done.

What can you learn about the test from this question?  When you have two blanks in a Sentence Completion question, always start by eliminating answers using one of the two words .  It will save you time.

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 E.  As usual, the ACT explanation obfuscates how to do this question.  Why do they like to make the explanation more bewildering than the question?  Just divide 18 3/4 by 3/4.  I did it in my head but you could do it quickly on your calculator using 18.75 and .75.

The tests have math questions that are just this simple; so, don’t be intimidated by the test itself.  Pay attention to where you are on the test.  The SAT organizes their questions within each question format (except Reading Passage questions) from easy to hard.  The ACT folks say they don’t do that for math.  However, the trend is definitely there; as a group, the questions in the 50’s are going to be more difficult than the questions in the 30’s.  On the other hand, you may see one relatively simple question in the 50’s.

I’m off to be the Wizard and will be helping some students improve their PSAT scores.   I hope you get to enjoy your Saturday as much as I will.

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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