Please Explain: Tests – The Answers, Revealed

Friday, January 07, 2011 - 11:40 AM

For today’s Please Explain, we asked you to take a look at some sample SAT and New York State Exam questions. We’ll be discussing the answers during the segment, but we didn’t want to keep you waiting for too long! Below, the answers, revealed. Let us know how you did in the comments!



1. Select the two words that are opposite in meaning: (from 1934 test)

                        1. Gregarious  2. Solitary  3. Elderly  4. Blowy

Answer: 1,2

2. Select the two words that are most nearly opposite in meaning: (from 1943 test)

                        1. Divulged     2. Esoteric  3. Eucharistic  4. Refined

Answer: 1,2


1. (From 1934) Write the answer to these questions as quickly as you can. In solving the problems on geometry, use the information given and your own judgment on the geometrical properties of the figures to which you are referred.

Answer: 1. AB = 5; 2. b = 20

2. (From 1943) If 4b +2c = 4, 8b – 2c = 4, 6b-3c = (?)

                        (a) -2   (b) 2     (c) 3     (d) 6     (e) 10

Answer: B


            Critical Reading: (Sentence Completion)

  1. Geysers vary widely: some may discharge _______, whereas others may have only a brief explosive eruption and then remain _________ for hours or days.
    1. Violently…dangerous
    2. Continuously…quiescent
    3. Spontaneously…unpredictable
    4. Regularly…active
    5. Faintly…imperceptible

Answer: B

  1. Only after the campaign volunteers became aware of their candidate’s questionable motives could they recognize the ______ statements made in his seemingly _______ speeches.
    1. Insightful…astute
    2. Partisan…callous
    3. Cordial…hostile
    4. Duplicitous…candid
    5. Cunning…surreptitious

Answer: D


  1. If a positive integer n is picked at random from the positive integers less than or equal to 10, what is the probability that 5n +3 ≤ 14?

(a) 0           (b) 1/10            (c) 1/5              (d) 3/10            (e) 2/5

Answer: C

  1. If t is a number greater than 1, then t2 is how much greater than t?

(a) 1           (b) 2                 (c) t                  (d) t(t-1)          (e) (t-1)(t+1)

                              Answer: D


Answers to the math exam are available here; answers to the ELA exam are available here.


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Comments [4]

Kim Gittleson

Hi Barry -

Thanks for pointing that out - it's a typo on my part. It should be fixed now!

Jan. 07 2011 03:27 PM
Barry from White Plains

Are you guys sure you got the answer to 1943 math (2) right?

<< If 4b +2c = 4, 8b – 2c = 4, 6b-3c = (?) >>

You say (C), which is 3.
I say (B), which is 2.

Add the first two formulae and the 2c terms cancel, leaving 12b = 8, or b = 2/3. Plug that into either formula and get c = 2/3, as well. Then (6-3)*2/3 = 2.

Jan. 07 2011 03:07 PM
Brian Berenbach from Edison, New jersey

I was an abused child, and my test scores were all over the place, getting 100% on regents exams, but getting poor grades and scoring poorly, for example, on some entrance exams such as the SP program in NY and the entrance exam to the brooklyn magnet science schools.

All the tests said was that i wasn't qualified for a program. If any of those tests had been able to pick up that i was an abused child then that really would have done me a service, as opposed to being berated because i was "lazy" and not living up to my potential.

Someone really needs to teach the test givers how to read the exams and interpret them. They are grossly unfair to inner city, poor and abused children.

As an aside, many years later, when doing my doctorate in engineering i had a 4.0 average. Yet many of the standardized tests i took as a child reported that i would wind up on the bottom rung of society. I hated the tests, the test makers, and the test interpreters.

Jan. 07 2011 02:04 PM
jennifer from manhattan

my fifth grade son is seriously dyslexic and can't read a third grade book easily. However he tests at the 9th grade reading level. How ridiculous I find the testing is and it is very difficult to explain to the NYC board of ed why this would be--he can read in short bursts but doesn't have the energy or stamina to go the whole book. To me this is a serious flaw in testing.

Jan. 07 2011 01:48 PM

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