Wrong Answers

Chris Lele
Lesson by Chris Lele
Magoosh Expert
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A: This lesson was originally created for our SAT test prep tool but we think that it contains useful tips for approaching the ACT too. So think of it as a bonus lesson!

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In this video we're going to go through answer choices that are wrong. That's right. Wrong answers, not the right answers. And this is very important because SAT is a test of elimination. It's not necessarily a test of always getting the answer right off the bat, that can be difficult to do.

It's also important to know that the test writers create wrong answers that follow along a relatively predictable scheme. So if you know how they write the questions, that is how they're trying to trick you, then you can be better equipped or better ready to deal with these traps. So in this video we're gonna talk about these wrong answer traps, what are they? Well, first off, a wrong answer can talk about something that's simply not in the passage.

And what can even be really tricky you about this, sometimes something is true, but is not in the passage. So it can be a true fact about the world, but if it's simply not in the passage then it can not be the answer. That is, your answer always has to be backed up with information text in the passage.

Another time of wrong answer is extreme answer. It uses words such as never, always. And sometimes these extreme answers, they do not necessarily use these words but they assume too much. Strong answers assume too much and we're gonna go through each one of these here in a second but we are not done with wrong answer types.

We also have the rotten fruit. What is the rotten fruit? Well, think about it this way. You walk into a supermarket. You pick up an orange. You don't just hold it up and say, oh, look how nice an orange this orange is.

You turn it around in your hand slowly, looking for the rotten spot. So therefore, the answer choices are very similar to the SAT. Do not just say, oh, I like that part of answer choice a. Doesn't that sound perfect, I just totally read that in the passage, that's it. No, you're looking at the nice part, the nice shiny part of the orange. You wanna twist around, that is you want to read the entire answer choices.

You wanna look for the rotten point, the rotten spot because are you holding a rotten fruit? And if that isn't one word, if simply one word is wrong, everything else is right. But one word is wrong, you have a rotten fruit and a wrong answer. Next, sometimes answers can be simply too broad, too general, too vague. Or especially for main idea questions, it's too narrow, it's too specific.

So these are also wrong answer choices, especially this one applies to your main idea questions. And then finally, we have this one, which is similar to what I mentioned a second ago. Not in Passage, but this one is true but doesn't answer the question. And this wrong answer type is actually within the passage, so that is true, answer choice.

Definitely talks or relates to a certain part of the passage but the question is asking about something else. So it is true but doesn't answer the question. Which is similar to the true up here, but in this case it may be true in the real world. It's certainly not in the passage, where this one down here is true in the passage, but doesn't answer the specific question we ask.

Okay, now let's actually look at this passage right here, and you don't really have to read the entire thing. But you may wanna pause and read just that amount that I outlined here and marked in red. Okay, so if we pause that, and have a go, that would be enough to answer the following question.

The author implies that the telescope Galileo had fashioned together. And this implies a question, so it's not directly stated, but you must base your answer on the text. So what does it say about Galileo's telescope? Well, he stuck lenses on to either end of an organ pipe. Okay, so he got this very basic telescope here.

And today's telescopes are considerably, makes sense, more elaborate. But they're similar to Galileo's telescope. Galileo's telescope was basic and crude. Both them perform the same task of simply collecting and focusing light. Whether it's Galileo's old school telescope or today's sophisticated telescopes they both do the same thing.

Okay, now with that information we can go back to the answer choices, implies that what? So let's look at A, was too crude I said yeah, it's definitely crude but wait a second. What else is the answer to choice saying, it was too crude to yield reliable information, is that anywhere in the passage?

It said it was crude but it's simply collected and processed, so this assumes too much. And so assumes too much, we'll say ATM, assumes too much. And so, this part's wrong, assumes too much then the entire choice is wrong. B, allow for the collecting and focusing of light. Didn't we just say, going back to the passage again that Galileo, his telescope.

And the more sophisticated, elaborate ones we have today do the same thing, they collect and focus light. Therefore, implies that Galileo's telescope allowed for the collection and focusing of light. That's the right answer. But now, the remaining three, of course, will be wrong answers, so we'll have to figure out why they are wrong answers.

C was unable to process electromagnetic radiation, so if we go back through the passage here. And look a little bit deeper, it says, it's all astronomers have to go on. Electromagnetic radiation from distant objects. So you can see that both Galileo telescope and the research telescopes analyze this electromagnetic radiation.

So when we go back to the answer choices. And so, this wasn't able to process electromagnetic radiation, you can say wait a second, it wasn't equal to. What's this going on here? Aha, it's the rotten part of the fruit. Hence we have a rotten fruit that was C, rotten fruit.

D required a technical background to use. Is this applied anywhere in the passage? Do we know, does it say this? No, it's not in passage, so then it's gone. Finally E, was the first such invention. Does it say that?

And now suddenly a light bulb may go on in your head and you would think, yeah, Galileo invented the telescope, I read that somewhere. Therefore E must be the answer. But remember, just because it may be true, in the real world, if it is not mentioned in the passage. Not in passage, it's not the answer.

And just like that, E is out. And by the way, Galileo actually didn't invent the telescope, that's a myth. But again, we're only basing our answers on what is in the passage. Again, it's very important that you make sure you know these wrong answer types. And eliminate accordingly when you go to the SAT, and of course, the last answer standing is the right one.

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