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# SAT Question of the Day

2012-04-24 09:00:03

Even though the editor was expecting the novelist's new manuscript to be quite long, she was overwhelmed by the ______ length of the text she ultimately received.

(A) infinitesimal
(B) tautological
(C) prodigious
(D) bombastic
(E) preposterous

Explanation: To predict the missing word, look for keywords in the sentence. Here, the keywords are "quite long," which the prompt uses to describe the "manuscript." The missing word likewise describes the "length of the text," and the prompt explains that "even though" the editor expected a long manuscript, "she was overwhelmed" by its length, which means the missing word must mean "extremely long." Because "prodigious" means "extraordinary in size, length, or extent," choice C is correct.

None of the other answer choices work either:

Infinitesimal: extremely small (this is the opposite of a correct answer)

Tautological: redundant or repetitive (this does not work because the prompt only implies the manuscript was long, not that it was repetitive)

Bombastic: pompous, pretentious, or inflated in speech without adding great insight (the prompt does not imply that the manuscript sounded pompous without actually being intelligent)

Preposterous: contrary to reason or common sense (this does not work because it would imply the text was too long, though the prompt only means to imply that it was very long, without putting a judgment on the length of the manuscript)

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-04-25 09:00:53

If 3xy is an odd integer, and both x and y are integers, which of the following MUST be true?

(A) x is not odd
(B) x/y is not odd
(C) y is not odd
(D) x/y is not even
(E) x/y is not an integer

Explanation: The product of two odd numbers is odd, while the product of an even number and an odd or even number is even. Thus, if 3xy is odd, then xy must be odd (since 3 is odd, so only the product of 3 and an odd number would be odd). If xy is odd, then both x and y must be odd. This eliminates choices A and C, since "x or y is not odd" means "x or y is even." The quotient of two odd numbers is a number that is not even (though it could be a fraction or an integer), making choice D the best answer.

This could also be found by plugging in numbers. Let x = 3 and y = 5. Then 3xy would be 3(3)(5), or 45. Use these numbers in the answer choices to see what works, remembering that "must be true" means that there cannot be a single number that works for 3xy but does not work for the answer choices:

(A) x is not odd: No, 3 is odd.
(B) x/y is not odd: This holds true for 3 and 5, since 3/5 is not odd (nor even).
(C) y is not odd: No, 5 is odd.
(D) x/y is not even: This holds true for 3 and 5, since 3/5 is not even (nor odd).
(E) x/y is not an integer: This holds true for 3 and 5, since 3/5 is not an integer.

Now, try a second set of numbers. Let x =9 and y = 3. Then, 3xy would be 3(9)(3), or 81. Use these numbers in the remaining choices:

(B) x/y is not odd: No, 9/3 is 3, which is odd.
(D) x/y is not even: Yes, 9/3 is 3, which is odd (and, thus, not even).
(E) x/y is not an integer: No, 9/3 is 3, which is an integer.

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-04-26 09:00:50

```Though the Union won the Civil War, the Confederate army
(A)
actually had less casualties throughout the conflict
(B)       (C)
than did the Union army. No error
(D)                    (E)```

Explanation: The error in this sentence occurs at choice C where the modifier "less" is incorrectly used to refer to a countable noun. Because "casualties" can be counted, "less" is inappropriate in context. This error could be corrected by changing "less" to "fewer."

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-04-27 09:00:13

If each angle of a regular hexagon measures x degrees and each angle of a regular pentagon measures y degrees, what is (x - y)²?

Explanation: A regular hexagon is a hexagon of six sides that are equal in measure and six angles equal in measure. A hexagon contains 720°, so each angle of a regular hexagon is just 720/6, or 120°. Thus, x = 120. A regular pentagon is a pentagon of five sides that are equal in measure and five angles equal in measure. A pentagon contains 540°, so each angle of a regular hexagon is just 540/4, or 108°. Thus, y = 1o8.

To find (x - y)², plug 120 in for x and 108 in for y: (120 - 108)² = 12². 12² is 144, so the correct answer is 144.

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-04-30 09:00:28

The walls of the apartment building were paper thin, so Victor could hear noises from a dozen other apartments; the resulting ______ caused him several sleepless nights.

(A) maelstrom
(B) serenity
(C) symphony
(D) cacophony
(E) rhapsody

Explanation: To predict the missing word, look for keywords in the sentence. Here, the keywords are in the phrase "noises from a dozen other apartments." The missing word describes what "resulted" from being able to hear said noises, so it must mean something that relates to sounds that do not mesh together. Because a "cacophony" is "a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds," choice D is correct.

Maelstrom:  a situation or state of confused movement or violent turmoil (this does not necessarily or directly refer to sound)

Serenity: a state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled (this is the opposite of a correct answer)

Symphony: an elaborate musical composition for a full orchestra (an orchestra made up of people in a dozen different apartments?)

Rhapsody: an effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling (this does not necessarily or directly refer to sound)

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-05-01 09:00:09

If the ratio of cats to dogs in a certain pet stores is 7:3 and half the animals in the store are either dogs or cats, what percentage of animals in the store are cats?

(A) 15%
(B) 30%
(C) 35%
(D) 55%
(E) 70%

Explanation: If half the animals in the store are either dogs or cats, then the 7:3 ratio of cats to dogs only applies to half of the store. 7:3 is a part-to-part ratio, but the question will require you to make it a part-to-whole ratio by adding the two parts together. Thus, the ratio of cats to cats or dogs in the store is 7:10 (from 7 + 3 = 10), meaning that 70% of the cats/dogs sold in the store are cats. Since that is half the store only,  the correct answer is 70% of half or 70% of 50%, which is 35%, or choice C.

This could also be found by assuming there are 100 total animals sold in the store. That would mean that 50 animals are either cats or dogs, and that 7/10 of 50 is the number of cats in the store. 7/10 of 50 is 35.

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-05-02 09:00:56

When the students in Mr. Greco's class take a field trip to Mount Vernon next week, they will learn interesting facts they did not previously know about our first president.

(A) they will learn interesting facts they did not previously know about our first president.
(B) they will learn interesting facts about our first president that were unknown to it before the visit.
(C) the class learned interesting facts it did not previously know about our first president.
(D) the class will learn interesting facts about our first president that were unknown to them before the visit.
(E) they learned interesting facts about our first president that the class did not before.

Explanation: There is no error in this sentence. The plural pronoun "they" agrees with its clear antecedent, "students," in number and case (eliminating answers B, C, and D, which correct an imagined pronoun error). Additionally, the future verb phrase "will learn" is appropriate here, since the sentence refers to a trip that has not yet happened (eliminating answer E which imagines a verb tense error).

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-05-03 09:00:19

The area of a circle is 64π. If a square were drawn inside that circle, what is the largest possible area of that square?

(A) 16 square units
(B) 32 square units
(C) 64 square units
(D) 128 square units
(E) 256 square units

Explanation: The largest possible square that can be contained in that circle would be one that has a diagonal that is identical to the circle's diameter. This circle's diameter must be 16, since area is πr², and here πr² = 64π, making r² = 64, and r = 8. Since diameter is 2π, then the diameter here is 16. This is also the diagonal of the square.

In squares, the diagonal is proportional to the side lengths so that, if s = the length of the side, then the diagonal is s√2. Here, then, 16 = x√2, meaning 16/√2 = s. Since the area of a square is found by squaring the length of one side, the area of this square can be found by squaring 16/√2 to get (16/√2)², which is (16ç)/(√2²), or 256/2, which simplifies to 128 square units, making choice D correct.

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-05-04 09:00:43

Thomas Jefferson was a Renaissance man, someone who dabbled in a wide array of fields; he included everything from architecture to philosophy in his impressively   ______ repertoire.

(A) motley
(B) uniform
(C) ubiquitous
(D) limited
(E) omniscient

Explanation: To predict the missing word, look for keywords in the sentence. In this prompt, the keywords are "wide array of fields," which the prompt states that Jefferson "dabbled" in. The missing word describes his "repertoire," a word that means "the stock set of skills one habitually returns to." Because both the missing word and the "wide array" describe the repertoire or fields Jefferson worked in, a field that is "wide" and includes disparate elements such as "architecture" or "philosophy,"  the missing word must mean "wide" or "diverse." Choice A is, therefore, the right answer, since "motley" means "exhibiting great diversity of elements."

None of the other answer choice worked either.

Uniform: the same throughout (This is the opposite of a correct answer.)

Ubiquitous: present, appearing, or found everywhere (This has nothing to do with "a wide array of fields.")

Limited: restricted in size, amount or extent (This is almost the opposite of a correct answer.)

Omniscient: knowing everything (This has nothing to do with "a wide array of fields.")

# SAT Question of the Day

2012-05-07 09:00:44

For the school carnival, the administration offered two types of tickets: students could purchase tickets for \$5 each, while non-students could purchase tickets for \$8 each. The school ended up selling 140 tickets in total and raising \$850 from ticket sales. What is the difference between the number of student and non-student tickets sold?

(A) 30 tickets
(B) 40 tickets
(C) 50 tickets
(D) 70 tickets
(E) 90 tickets

Explanation: To solve word problems such as this one, set up two equations to keep track of all the information. Let S be the number of student tickets sold and N be the number of non-student tickets sold. The total number of tickets sold, 140, is the sum of S and N, while the total amount of money raised is based on the sum of the amount of money raised by S and the amount of money raised by N. Therefore, the two equations you need are:

S + N = 140 &    5S + 8N = 850

Solve the first equation for N (or S, it really doesn't matter) by subtracting S from both sides to get N = 140 - S. Now, substitute 140 - S in for N in the second equation:

5S + 8(140 - S) = 850, which simplifies to 5S + 1120 - 8S = 850 or 1120 - 3S = 850.

Subtract 850 from both sides and add 3s to both sides to get 270 = 3S, meaning S = 90. Thus, 90 student tickets were sold. Plug 90 back in for S in the first equation to get

90 + N = 140

By subtracting 90 from both sides, you will get N = 50.

Finally, to find the difference between the number of student and non-student tickets sold, simply subtract S - N, or 90 - 50, to get 40, making choice B correct.

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