Halloween SAT Reading Answer Explanation

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So last week we looked at a Halloween-themed SAT Reading passage. We learned about the myth of Stingy Jack and how he outwitted the devil to avoid being sent to Hell. Let’s take a look at the questions accompanying the passage and talk about how to solve them.

1. It can be reasonably inferred that Stingy Jack

(A) befriended the Devil to avoid being sent to Hell.
(B) tricked Saint Peter to gain access to Heaven.
(C) lived reprehensibly.
(D) died honorably.

Okay, the first question is asking us to make an inference. Now, the correct answer to an inference question on the SAT will always be a very safe conclusion; oftentimes, these questions are only one step away from a summary question. So we’ll be looking at the text to help us pick the right answer.

Okay, as we go through the answer choices, it’s very easy to eliminate wrong answer choices. (A), for example, is easily eliminated, because we know that Jack tricked the devil, and the two were never friends. Likewise, (B) is incorrect, because Jack was denied access to Heaven when Saint Peter judged him. Now, (C) has textual support and looks like a safe inference, so it’s likely the best answer. I always double check that (D) can be eliminated, just in case there isn’t a better answer that I may have overlooked if I marked the answer immediately. And looking at (D), we know that this is the opposite of the information presented in the passage.

2. The situation in paragraph 2 (the transmogrified coin portion) is most similar to

(A) a witch turning her victim into a newt.
(B) a writer confusing students on the SAT.
(C) a politician stalling with a filibuster.
(D) a child outwitting her parents.

Alright, let’s take a look at the second question. Here, we’re asked to make an analogy between two similar situations. It’s very easy to stop here for a minute and think about the situation in question before analyzing the answer choices. And in this case, we see that Jack outwits the devil for personal gain. Let’s take a look at the answer choices and see if we can find something that matches. (A) compares Jack to a witch; however, Jack never actively transforms the devil on his own; rather, he tricks the devil into doing this himself. (B) is easily eliminated because Jack gains a discrete benefit from outwitting the devil whereas a writer gains nothing. (C) can also be eliminated because Jack is not trying to delay an inevitable outcome at this point in the story (the first instance of Jack outwitting the devil could be seen in this way, but the coin portion cannot). That leaves us with (D), which clearly expresses a situation in which one party outsmarts another for a particular benefit.

Alright, I hope you all enjoyed this special Halloween edition of KallisPrep’s blog. Thanks for reading!

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