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Answer Explanations for: SAT January 2011

This document contains detailed answer explanations to every question from the SAT January 22, 2011, Form Codes AEHA, BWHA. 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: Mathematics
1) C) The tenths place is the first digit to the right of the decimal. Therefore, when rounded to the nearest tenth, the number in the question is equal to -1.6, since .57 is closer to .6 than to .5. Point C is the closest point to -1.6, as it appears to be right around -1.55 or -1.6. Point D does not work because it is closer to -1.3 or -1.4. If you answered B, you may have rounded the number to the nearest integer, -2, rather than to the nearest tenth. See inequalities and the number line.

Section 3: Critical Reading
14) A) The passage describes how Descartes’s bell on a rope mechanical theory of pain, which had been accepted for centuries, has recently been replaced by the gate control theory. The passage also details how scientific research, such as the study described in lines 30-48, supports the gate control theory. Therefore, the correct answer is A. B is incorrect because both the old theory and the new theory are relevant to the phenomenon of pain, although the new theory does describe pain more accurately. C is incorrect because the new data contradicts the old bell on a rope theory and supports the new gate control theory. D is incorrect because the passage discusses theories about pain, not about “physical experience” in general. E is incorrect because the passage does not discuss medical treatments.

Section 7: Writing
3) C) The phrase at the beginning of the sentence describes “George Washington Carver,” not “a faculty position,” so the original sentence contains a misplaced modifier error, since modifying phrases must be next to whatever they are modifying or describing. B is incorrect for the same reason. To fix this error, it is necessary to begin the independent clause in the second part of the sentence with “George Washington Carver.” Although C, D, and E all fix the misplaced modifier, D and E each result in a sentence that does not express a complete thought and is therefore a fragment, so C is the correct answer. Continue reading

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