SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Oct. 8, 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 B.  The topic of the sentence is about how long the scribbling stayed on the wall.  Before looking at the answers, I predicted “long-lasting” because I didn’t want to get distracted by wrong answers.  Whoa!  There’s some words most teens don’t know.  (Only 45% are getting the question correct.)   Interchangeable and possibly untenable will be known by students but the other three words will be a challenge.  What should we do?

The key is going to be word parts or morphemes at this point.  I hope you’ve been working on them.  They can really raise your score.  (Check out and msu’s Latin/Greek word part lists.)  You can also compare word parts in the answer to words you already know.  For example, in- means not as in the word inescapable; ible means able to be; -del- means delete or erase.  Bingo-“not able to be deleted.”  You could think of delete as a common word with the same stem.  You could do the same thing with some of the wrong answers and eliminate some of them leaving you with an educated guess.  Be sure to guess when you’ve eliminated at least one answer.  That is when the guessing penalty becomes a guessing reward.

Always keep Pillar VI: Don’t be Intimidated in mind when you are taking the test.  This is a reasoning test and strategies pay off.  In this case, identifying the topic and making a prediction certainly helps.  Then using word parts helps demystify some of the words and could lead you to getting the right answer.

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 D.  Ms. Murphy always said, “Shorter is better!”  How right she was when it comes to the ACT and SAT grammar/composition tests.  We are told in the previous sentence that she had been born in 1893 and you know that was about a “century ago.”  There’s no need for the underlined sentence.  It can be eliminated.

Watch out for redundancy in the test.  It is a favorite error that the test writers put on the tests.  Be sure to watch Video #3 and look at my website.  You’ll see a list of the other common grammar and composition mistakes that will show up on the test.

Good for you!  By doing the Question of the Day, you are spending a few minutes each day focusing on SAT and ACT preparation.  That will help you keep your eye on the prize and certainly can help raise your score.  Congrats.

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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