Issue 20: Are You Smarter Than Your High Schooler?

Happy New Year, and welcome back to 2020’s first edition of Are You Smarter Than Your High Schooler?, a regular chance for parents and other adults to test how well they’d do on sample questions inspired by those on the ACT and SAT.  

In this week’s issue, the two Math questions and two grammar questions share a theme: simplicity. On the ACT English or SAT Writing and Language, students can mistakenly assume that the test writers want florid, verbose writing. In reality, both exams prize precision and concision. 

On the Math sections of both exams, many students struggle with deceptively simple word problems, particularly those that involve rates or other proportional relationships. Some people intuitively know what operations to perform and how to do so in the correct order, but many don’t. If you don’t want or need any hints to solve the problems, jump to the quiz right now. 

If you do want a few helpful hints, look for ways to set up a proportion of like things (e.g., 200 texts/3 months = x texts/12 months) or unit analysis (e.g., 200 texts/3 months * 12 months/1 year = x texts). 

 

Noodle Pro Melissa Hendrix is a premier tutor of the SAT and ACT in Chicagoland. She has been a national leader in SAT and ACT preparation for 20 years, developing curriculum and strategies for national test prep companies.