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Answer Explanations for: SAT May 2011

This document contains detailed answer explanations to every question from the May 7, 2011 SAT, Form Codes AEHC, BWHC, CFHC. 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 3: Critical Reading
9) D) Both passages agree that video games can offer players new “identities,” as is indicated in lines 7-10 of Passage 1 and lines 12-13 of Passage 2. Although Passage I is positive towards the educational possibilities of video games, never does it argue that video games are underused for education, so A is incorrect. B is incorrect because it is only indicated by Passage II. Neither C nor E is indicated by either passage.

Section 4: Mathematics
3) A) The median of a set is equal to the “middle” number in the set, the number with the same amount of numbers greater than it and less than it. The easiest way to find the median of a set is to cross of the smallest number in the set and the greatest number in the set repeatedly until you are left with only one number. (If this process yields two middle numbers, as is the case in a set that contains an even number of terms, the average (mean) of these two numbers is the median of the set.) In this case, the above process yields a median of 25.

Section 5: Writing
4) E) Whenever you have a sentence that starts with a phrase and gives you more than one option for how to begin the independent clause that comes after the phrase, you should look out for misplaced modifiers. Ask yourself who or what the opening phrase is describing, and make sure that person or thing is the subject of the independent clause that follows the phrase. In this case, the opening phrase is talking about the state of Oregon, so “the state of Oregon” must be the subject of the independent clause. This gets your answer choices down to D and E. E is correct because it is written in the active voice while D is written in the passive voice. Although the passive voice is not technically grammatically incorrect, it is stylistically undesirable in most situations and is rarely found in correct answers on the SAT. Continue reading

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