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

If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to sat.collegeboard.org 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:

http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?questionId=20130923&oq=1 (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.  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.

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