SAT Question of the Day and ACT QotD May 1

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.)

Happy “May Day!”

The answer is D.  The difference between “Action” and “Fiction” is 16%; so, 16% of the total number of students has to be equal to the 40 students who prefer “Action.”  Set up a simple equation: .16x = 40 in which x represents the total number of students.  Solving for x gives you 250.

When you are converting words like “of” and “equal” to an equation, it is obvious that “equal” is = in an equation.  But, what about “of?”  “Of” means to multiply.

Let’s take a look at the ACT question. (The ACT staff does not put a date on their questions so if you click on an archived blog, you’ll get today’s question and the old explanation. Sorry. The SAT staff has dated their questions; so, the archive is helpful. The ACT folks simply don’t do that.)

The answer is C.  As Ms. Murphy (my ninth grade English teacher) always said, “Shorter is better.”  Answer C says the same thing with fewer words.

The maxim is true on both the SAT and ACT; so, be careful when you take the test next Saturday and watch for times on the Writing Test when you can rewrite the sentences using fewer words.

Finally, please disregard the ACT “directions” that tell you to read the whole passage first and then answer the questions.  Nuts to that!!  You’ll be wasting an awful lot of time if you do.  Just start reading the passage and answer the questions as you encounter the underlined portions of the passage.  Once in a while you will need to read an adjoining sentence and rarely you’ll need to relate a sentence to a whole paragraph.  However, wait until you see those questions before doing so.  My strategy will certainly speed you up.

The SAT is Saturday.  If you are taking it, stay home on Friday night.  Don’t do any more prep after dinner.  Relax.  Watch a favorite movie or read a book.  Spend the evening alone in the quiet of your home.  Don’t talk on the phone, text, go to a chat room, etc.  Nobody is going to give you any information that will improve your score.  However, somebody might give you some information that you will find so upsetting that it may affect how you do Saturday morning.  For example, I’ve had a girlfriend (?) call one of my students and break up with him by phone the night before the SAT!!  Other things have happened that are even worse.  So, forewarn your friends you are going to be crawling into your sanctuary after dinner on Friday and you’ll talk with them after the test.

Review my manual and/or website courses before Saturday.  You have just a couple of days left.

If you didn’t read yesterday’s blog about what to eat before the test, do so.  Tune in tomorrow and I’ll be telling you more about what to do on Saturday morning besides supercharging your brain with the right menu .


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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