This breakdown is meant to help you analyze and categorize your mistakes after you’ve taken Practice Test 3 in the Blue Book. The whole idea is that the best thing you can do to improve your score is to understand your weaknesses, and then drill the hell out of them to make them strengths. Click to see similar breakdowns for Blue Book Tests 1 and 2.

 § p # Techniques and concepts Diff. 2 514 1 I suppose you could backsolve if you wanted to. 1 2 514 2 1 2 515 3 Spatial reasoning is fun! 1 2 515 4 25% is a quarter. A quarter of a circle is a right angle. Which angles are acute? 2 2 515 5 2 2 516 6 2 2 516 7 2 2 516 8 If you’re not immediately sure what (–0.5)2 is, just put it in your calculator.. 2 2 516 9 3 2 517 10 3 2 517 11 3 2 517 12 Read the Venn diagram carefully. It might help you to darken the boundaries of A and B. 3 2 517 13 Percents, Backsolve 3 2 518 14 3 2 518 15 Percents 3 2 518 16 4 2 518 17 4 2 519 18 Draw them and count. 4 2 519 19 4 2 519 20 5 5 525 1 1 5 525 2 1 5 526 3 1 5 526 4 Read the question carefully. 1 5 526 5 Special right triangles 4 5 527 6 3 5 527 7 Draw it carefully. 4 5 527 8 FOIL it. Corresponding coefficients will be equal, so (–8 – k) = –5k and m = 8k 5 5 528 9 1 5 528 10 2 5 529 11 2 5 529 12 3 5 529 13 This is a tricky graph. Read it carefully. 2 5 529 14 Write the equation: 5n = n + 5. Solve for n. 3 5 530 15 4 5 530 16 4 5 530 17 For every 4 inches of strip, there are 5 inches of edge. Use ratios. 4 5 530 18 Square’s side = 8, so R is (4, 8). Plug into the equation to solve for a. Parabolas. 4 8 543 1 Do the algebra: (3/4)n = 18. 1 8 543 2 2 8 544 3 Read the graph carefully. 1 8 544 4 Read the question carefully 2 8 544 5 2 8 545 6 2 8 545 7 2 8 545 8 2 8 545 9 3 8 546 10 3 8 546 11 Do the algebra. 3 8 547 12 Reasoning: Can they all be negative? No. All but one? Yes, if the one is big enough. 3 8 547 13 List the combinations methodically. 4 8 547 14 Graph amplification 3 8 548 15 Follow the pattern remembering that all negative values are less than 100 4 8 548 16 5

JD says:

PWN!!!

Did you see yesterday’s QOTD from the College Board??

“Being” was used correctly. It is, i think, the third time I have seen this on a QOTD in the past nine months.  Also, I have seen multiple occurrences of passive voice used in correct answer choices on the QOTD over the same period.

Is this an intentional maneuver in response to tutors advising students to use such cues to ferret out incorrect answer choices?
I have had this suspicion for a while now that the College Board is using the QOTD with such intentions in mind. Seems like a conspiracy theory but yesterday was the final straw for me. I’m a believer now.

JD

JD says:

This is a little anti-climatic, but the previous correct use of “being” in a Fixing Sentences QOTD was the same sentence. They just recycled the old question. I did find an Error ID QOTD that had “being” underlying and it was not the answer. It was July 29 of last year.

In scrolling through the old questions it did seem as though “being” appeared infrequently (rarely actually) in the wrong answer choices of Fixing Sentence QOTDs. In actual released exams, it seems like “being” shows up at least once among the wrong answers on nearly every other question.

Thanks for pointing that out, JD. I’ve occasionally wondered whether the QOTD was used in that way, but I’ve always put the thought out of my head for reasons similar to yours. While it’s possible that 1) the correct use of “being” is a red herring to foil the prep industry or 2) the test is changing and this is an early indicator of the shift, I don’t think it’s either. Of course, I don’t work at the CB and have no insight into the way they run things, but I have to imagine that the team who puts together the QOTD is a lot smaller and less finely tuned than the team who eventually approves tests for deployment.