SAT Question of the Day (plus ACT): Mar. 1, 2014

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. (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 E.  This is a tough question (less than 50% correct responses).  Why?  It is because there’s nothing wrong.  Students are expecting an error where there isn’t one.  This question is especially tricky because you could change Answer C, “but a” to “but it is a.”  Either is correct.  The second option is a little wordy; however, it would still be correct.  It would turn the original sentence into a compound sentence with two independent clauses.  However, in this case there is nothing wrong with the original sentence; so, choose Answer E, No error.

Keep in mind that there will always be “No error” answers on the SAT.  They tend to be among the last questions in this format.  That’s where the questions are that are missed a lot because they arranged from easy to hard.  The grammar isn’t necessarily difficult; it is the students’ expectations of seeing a mistake when there isn’t one.  Avoid this common test-taking error.

I wonder what the ACT folks have up their sleeves this morning!

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 H.  Remember that you don’t need to review science for this test; you need to practice reading graphs.  Looking at the graph, you can see that starting at the surface the concentration increases and then at a depth of 15 cm it sharply decreases.  Now, look at the table.  Only CO2 does that.

However, with practice you’ll develop a skill that will greatly speed you up on the test when you encounter questions that are similar to this one.  The graph shows you at a depth of 0 cm the concentration is 1.  CO2 is the only answer that meets that requirement.  You are all done!  Just to check your work, notice on the graph how the concentration at 0 cm is the same as at 20 cm.  Take a look at the table and you’ll see that CO2 is the only answer that has values in the table that are consistent with that information.  The table entries are 0.0 in both cases.

Use this strategy to improve your score.  The big challenge on the science test is time.  Many students simply run out of time and have to randomly guess at many of the questions.  If you’ll practice my test-taking strategies, your speed will increase.  It’s time to get to work!

A new month begins today.  Use it to “March” towards higher scores.

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and 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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