SAT Question of the Day (ACT too!): Sept. 28 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.  Yes, the algebra is as easy as it looks.  Just divide both sides of the equation by 2.  You can also use “basketball algebra” and move the 2 to the other side of the equation and do the opposite thing with it.  Initially on the right side, you are multiplying by 2 so move it to the other side of the equals sign and divide by 2.  So, what can we learn about the test?

For the math sections, keep in mind where you are on the test and pace yourself by banking time on the early questions so that you have more time for the later, more difficult questions.  This question is relatively easy–over 80% have gotten it correct this morning.  That means it will show up very early in a math section.  The questions are arranged from easy to hard and with very rare exception each question is progressively more difficult than the last one.  However, keep in mind that if you are better at geometry than algebra, for example, you may find a geometry question that comes later in a section to be easier than an algebra question you saw earlier in a math section.  The moral of the story is, “When you see ‘easy’ math questions early in the section, don’t worry about whether you’ve been trapped by the test taker.”  You haven’t been.  Just move on.  If you see a question late in a section and it seemed easy, be cautious.  It probably contains a common error that students make, such as, multiple-step percent questions (Video #5–Arithmetic).  My point is simple–be aware of where you are on the test and proceed accordingly.

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.  Once again we are treated to a question that has appeared many times before.  It does a great job of reminding us of the value of PICK and especially “Insertable” (Video #3).  If you insert any of the other answers, they violate the PICK rules.  In this case, they simply add to or disagree with the passage.  You can quickly throw them out and move on to the next question.

What you can learn about the ACT and SAT tests is that you can be thankful they are standardized tests.  That means they are highly predictable.  The test writers for the reading sections use the same types of wrong answers over and over again.  Learning the characteristics of wrong (and right) answers is an invaluable strategy to learn and practice prior to test day.  After all, for most students the hard part of the reading tests isn’t the reading; it is the fact that for most questions there seem to be two right answers.  How do you tell them apart?  It’s simple.  Learn and practice using the traits of right and wrong answers from Video #3.  That will  improve your score significantly.

Enjoy your day.  I’m looking forward to mine because I’ll be teaching a special SAT strategy session for the “Stars” in Osceola County.

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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