SAT Question of the Day and ACT QotD May 8

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.  For Sentence Completion questions, always 1) figure out the topic, 2) use key words and phrases, 3) apply internal punctuation (commas, semicolons, etc.), and then 4) make a prediction for the blank(s) prior to looking at the answers.

The sentence tells us that the author died in 1812; so, the manuscript couldn’t have been written by him if it referred to events that occurred in 1818.  That topic  caused me to predict a word like “fake,” “questionable,” or some other negative word that raised the issue of the manuscript’s authenticity (being real).  Based on the prediction, most students could eliminate A, D, and E, leaving B and C.  Many students won’t know the word tenable.  However, if you study and learn word parts, you’ll see the root word “ten” which means “hold.”  Literally it means “able to be held.”  A “tenable” position in an argument is one that you can hold and defend; that word doesn’t fit in this sentence.  A “suspect” who is arrested is someone who is questionably innocent (innocent until proven guilty) and “suspect” serves in a similar way as an adjective.  (Think “suspicious.”)  We are left with Answer A.

Let’s move on to 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 A.  Use this question to learn a very important fact about the test: it isn’t about having memorized or even reviewed a bunch of science; it is about being able to quickly read and use data.  The question asks you to find a place on the chart that does NOT help decide the depth of the sample.  A doesn’t work since the concentration is the same for both 15 and 20 cm.  B, C, and D all work since there are different values at the two different depths.  Pick A and move on.

I hope AP exams are going well and you are in “final exam” mode.  Summer is right around the corner.  Have you figured out how to make it a productive one?  Part of your plan should be to do some college research.  There are thousands of options and several are just perfect for you.  (There is no single, best choice for any one student.)  Think of your search as a treasure hunt and get to work.


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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