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Answer Explanations for: SAT May 2012

This page contains answer explanations to every question from the May 5, 2012 SAT, Form Codes AEVX, BWVX. 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 page will contain the explanations only, and will 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: Mathematics
8) A) The number of different outfits he can create can be found by multiplying the number of pants by the number of jackets by the number of shirts he owns. Since he can create 60 unique outfits, the following equation models the situation, where p represents the number of pants he owns. 3 • 5 • p = 60 p = 60/15 = 4 pairs of pants. See counting and probability.

Section 4: Writing
1) D) The original sentence features a parallel construction error, since the underlined portion is not constructed in a manner consistent with the other items in the list. The other items in the list are constructed in the present participle, ending with an “ing,” so answer choice D fixes the error.

Section 5: Critical Reading
10) E) On questions like this that have answer choices that use vague language to refer to specific things, you must be able to determine the specifics that the vague language refers to before choosing your answer. In this sentence, the narrator mildly criticizes the way Ruma’s father closes his letters despite that fact that his closing constitutes a “commonplace expression.” The narrator’s criticism of the expression is that it is easier said than done, so E is the correct answer. A is incorrect because it overstates the extent of the criticism and because the closing is not a “command.” B is incorrect because, like A, it overstates the extent of the criticism. C is incorrect because there is no reason to believe that the letter’s closing was intended to be ironic; Ruma’s father likely did want her to “be happy” (line 10). Continue reading

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