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SAT Writing and ACT Science

SAT Writing Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is an Identifying Sentence Errors Question.  Read the sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Then quickly check each underlined portion against the Big 8 Grammar Rules and mark any error that you find.

(A)  When you see the word "its," check to make sure that it doesn't need an apostrophe.  In this case, "its" is possessive rather than a contraction, so it does not need an apostrophe.  You now know that the subject of the sentence is singular and that it must come right after this introductory phrase.  There is no error here.

(B)  The article "a" is singular in keeping with the singular subject of the sentence, the guinea pig.  The word "member" is also singular.  There is no error here.

(C)  You just read about what a guinea pig is not, so before you learn about what it is, you need a contrasting word.  The conjunction "but" creates this necessary contrast and the article "a" is still singular.  There is no error here.  Note: some students might want to put "but it is a" rodent in this blank to make the sentence more parallel.   Not only are these words unnecessary and repetitive, they are incorrect.  There is no comma following "family," so you cannot create an independent clause after the "but."

(D)  This underlined portion contains the preposition "from" which is followed by a place.  The place is a specific location, so it is correct to capitalize this proper noun.  There is no error here.  Note:  The Andes is a mountain range, but adding that detail is optional and constitutes a revision rather than an identification of an error.

(E)  Do not get so caught up in looking for errors that you forget that "No error" is a legitimate choice!  If you do not find a specific error, choose (E)!

The correct answer is (E).

On sat.collegeboard.org, 49% of the responses were correct.

ACT Science Question of the Day

The ACT question of the day may look difficult because it looks like you have to analyze data and create your own graph, but it can be answered in seconds.

Paraphrase the question that it asks: Which graph shows the changing length of the shadow of a stick over a single day?

Now look at your graphs.  They don't tell you times for the measurements A, B, C, D, and E, so you need to look at the explanation of Experiment 1.  This tells you that A, B, C, D, and E are all measurements on the same day, starting in the morning and ending at evening.  Look at Day 1 in Table 1.  A starts out big, B gets smaller, C is the smallest, D gets bigger, and E is just as big as A.  You could graph these measurements as a "U," a parabola.  All of the other days that are recorded have the same pattern, even in Table 2.

Look down at your answer choices.  There is only one graph of a parabola.  

The correct answer is (J).

To get help preparing for the SAT, PSAT, or ACT exam, check out the Knowsys College Readiness Program.

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