SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Sept. 23, 2013

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The answer is C.  This is a tough question; only 39% of students are getting it right.  Always start with the topic.  In this case, it is about how colors (the subject), for example, red was capable of “restoring good health.”  So, I predicted a word like “healing.”  I was immediately able to  eliminate A, D, and E.  However, I had no clue what (B) callow means and wasn’t too sure about (C) salutary.  So, I resorted to my favorite strategy when I don’t recognize words — using word parts (morphemes).  I saw “salutations” and “salute” in (C) salutary.  A salutation is a greeting and what you put at the beginning of a letter like “Dear Grandmother” or at the beginning of a speech like “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.”  It is a greeting which is a salute.  I thought of it as a way of saying “to your health.”  So, I picked it.   I was right and it just goes to prove two things: 1) strategies help and 2) sometimes it takes a little bit of luck to get the questions correct.

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.  The test writers made this easier than it looks by not putting any very good distractors (wrong answers)  among the answers.  I saw the first algebra step was to add 5 to both sides which means the answer had to have a 7y+5 in it.  I strategically looked at the answers at that point to see how many I could eliminate and saw that A, B, and D were out of the running.  Then dividing by 2 eliminated C.  All done.

I used “basketball algebra” to do this question and it took about half the time (or less) of what it takes to do algebra the normal way.  All you do is move things (the 5) to the other side of the equals sign (mid-court) and do the opposite thing (offense to defense) or change the sign (- to +) in this case.  Then move the 2.  On the right you were multiplying so move it to the other side and divide.  That’s answer E in two blinks of an eye.

If you have trouble with algebra like one of my former students who you can watch on TV because he is in the NBA, then you need to practice “basketball algebra.”  I developed it for him because he couldn’t manage the teacher’s way of solving equations.  His SAT score improved, he qualified to play college basketball, played four years in college and got a degree, got drafted into the NBA and has been playing ever since.  If you want to learn how to play “basketball algebra” and the information above doesn’t fully explain it for you, let me know and I’ll give you some help.

Have a great week.

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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