ACT Reading: Detail

SAT Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is an Algebra question that has already been addressed on this blog: click here to see an explanation.

ACT Question of the Day

The ACT question is a reading question today.

On the actual ACT exam, you would read the entire passage focusing on the topic, scope, purpose, topic sentences, and conclusion, if any.  Then you would prioritize the questions and answer them  in order of difficulty (answering all the Easy questions before all the Medium questions before all the Hard questions).  

This particular question is a detail question, which should be classified as Easy. You should answer this question as soon as you get to it.

Paraphrase the question.  What do the judges do in medieval trials?  What is their role?  This is a particularly easy question because you can find the answer in the passage twice.  How do you go about finding it?  If you read your topic sentences, you know that the first paragraph is an introduction to medieval trials.  Skim it looking for the keyword "judge."  Lines 14-16: "Judgment in other words preceded trial because it was a decision on what form the trial should take."  Knowing that judges decide the form of the trial is enough to answer the question.  However, there is another relevant statement in case you missed this one.  You know you can ignore the next three paragraphs because they are all about specific trials, but the last paragraph includes information about processes common to medieval trials.  Skim that one.  Lines 78-82: "The judges, who had no role whatever in the making of the verdict, decided only which party should be put to proof and what its form should be; thereafter the judges merely enforced an observance of the rules."  You have gathered more than enough information; go to the answer choices!

(F)  Both statements that you found emphasize the role of judges in determining the form of trials.  Perfect match!  Quickly check the other choices. 

(G)  Nope.  This is contradicted in lines 77-78, which tell you that the proceedings were the same for both of these types of cases in medieval times. 

 (H)  Nope.  This is contradicted in the last sentence of the passage, which tells you that no one questions whether another person is telling the truth.  The oaths are meant to make sure that each person tells the truth.

 (J)  Nope.  Lines 78-82 tell you that judges have no role in making a verdict, which is determining guilt or innocence.

The correct answer is (F). 

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