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Answer Explanations for: SAT January 2012

This document contains detailed answer explanations to every question from the January 28, 2012 SAT, Form Codes AEVZ, BWVZ. Many Mathematics and Writing explanations also link to content pages that explain the relevant grammatical and mathematical concepts in greater detail. Please note that this document contains the explanations only, and does not provide the test questions themselves; it is a tool intended for use with a copy of your test that you purchased from the College Board via the Question and Answer Service (QAS). The following are sample explanations:

Section 2: Critical Reading
6) B) To answer this question correctly, you must identify the specific things that the vague terms in the answer choices refer to. B is correct because the “contemporary practice” referred to is blogging, and both authors give their opinions of this practice. A is incorrect because, although both authors criticize aspects of blogging, neither speaks badly of the technology that allows people to blog. C is incorrect because neither passage intends to persuade people to blog. D is incorrect because blogging would no longer be considered “unconventional.” E is incorrect because neither passage makes fun of blogs.

Section 3: Mathematics
5) B) Because the angles of a triangle add up to 180˚, a + b + c = 180. Add both sides of the two equations in the question to get a + c + 2b = 215. Now subtract both sides of the equation [a + b + c = 180] from both sides of [a + c + 2b = 215] to get b = 215 – 180 = 35. Another way of thinking about it is that once you get both of the above equations, the only difference between their left sides is that the second equation contains an extra b. Therefore, b must equal the difference of 215 and 180. See plane geometry and linear systems.

Section 6: Writing
3) A) The original sentence is correct because it expresses the information in a straightforward, streamlined manner that contains no grammatical errors. B is incorrect because the word “they” is redundant with “eruptions,” since it is not necessary to state the subject of the sentence twice. C is incorrect because “more easier” is not a grammatically correct construction; instead, the comparative adverb “more easily” should be used to modify the verb “predicted.” D is incorrect because the word “are” would need to replace the word “being.” Be careful when an answer choice contains the word “being,” since it is rarely found in correct answers. E is incorrect because it joints two independent clauses with a comma and no conjunction. See adjectives adverbs and comparisons and two independent clauses. Continue reading

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