# How Ready Are You for the SAT?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: Shutterstock

It's a rite of passage -- the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Whether you're still in high school, or long past it, we've created a test of SAT-style vocabulary, grammar and math questions for you to test yourself! (Please note: This test is for entertainment purposes only).

# At a bakery, a croissant costs \$3 and a baguette costs \$7. If you make a purchase with a \$20 bill and get \$4 change, what did you buy?

Three croissants is three times three, or nine. Add seven for the baguette, and you have sixteen. \$16 out of \$20 is \$4 change.

# What is the best definition of "moderate"?

As a verb, "moderate" (pronounced with a long A) means "to come between or negotiate." You can probably see the relation to the adjective form meaning "medium."

# Which of these geometry terms refers to an angle of less than 90 degrees?

Acute is a narrow angle. In vocabulary, "acute" means "mentally sharp," perhaps a reference to the sharpness of the angle.

# The sum of the degrees of internal angles in a triangle always adds up to what number?

This is one of many basic laws of mathematics. In an equilateral triangle, each internal angle must be 60 degrees.

# "Friday night was cool and cloudy; with the kind of wind that preceded rain." How should this sentence be rewritten to be correct?

This sentence does not require -- in fact, will not support -- a semicolon. If the latter part of the sentence was a full clause, with both subject and verb, then it would. Example: "Friday night was cool and cloudy; the wind that was blowing was the kind that preceded rain."

# Which of these is a synonym of "adage"?

We all know someone who is painfully fond of adages. They can believe both in "haste makes waste" and "he who hesitates is lost."

# Which of these is a synonym of "cataclysm"?

Merriam Webster's primary definition for "cataclysm" is "flood or deluge." But most people think of its second meaning, "disaster."

# Your employer has fallen on hard times. To stay on, you have to take one of the following: a one-fifth pay cut, a 20 percent pay cut, or a .17 percent pay cut. Which should you take?

Don't be fooled! One-fifth and 20 percent are the same thing, but .17 is 17 percent -- a slightly lower pay cut. If your boss offers you these three options, you'll know you're working with someone with a poor grasp of math!

# "It almost can't be overstated how important Mary Shelley is to women writers. She's a patron saint, who excites interest and admiration not just through her work, but her life story." In this extract, what is the best meaning of "patron saint"?

In Catholicism, a patron saint is a protector to be prayed to. However, more loosely, "patron saint" can mean someone who exemplifies the best qualities of a particular thing, an exemplar. That's the meaning here.

# What is the best definition of "insidious"?

"Insidious" refers to something evil, but isn't quite the same as "wicked," "horrible" or "depraved." Those words put the quality out in the open. "Insidious" implies the threat is sneaky and not obvious.

# A new book on Amazon has a 3.8 star rating from its first seven reviewers. If the next two readers give it one star and five stars, respectively, what will its cumulative rating be?

Technically, it'll be 3.622222-ad infinitum, so we round up to 3.7 stars. You get this answer by multiplying the 3.8 by the seven readers for a total of 26.6, then add the new ratings, 5 and 1, for a new total of 32.6. Divide this by the new number of nine readers for 3.6.

# "The idea of leaving early was an anathema to him." How should this sentence be rewritten to be correct?

"Anathema" is a noun that takes no article. For this reason, some people mistake it for an adjective.

# A farmer has x number of apple slices for the horses in his barn. If he gives each horse three slices, he'll use up the entire bag. If he wanted to give each four, he'd need 6 more slices. How many horses are in his barns?

Two-variable equations are tricky (this one doesn't tell you the number of slices or the number of horses), but this one really passes as a logic question. If giving each horse just one more slice requires six more slices, there can only be six horses.

# Which of these terms refers to an angle of more than 90 degrees?

Just as "acute," means mentally sharp, "obtuse" in non-mathematical conversation usually means "mentally dull." If someone just isn't getting the point, they're being obtuse.

# Which of these is an example of a prime number?

A prime number can only be divided by itself and one. Some prime numbers are rare and exotic, like the "Mersenne prime," which is a prime number one less than a power of two.

# Can a prime number be cubed?

To be cubed simply means to be multiplied by itself, twice. Any number can be cubed: 11 x 11 x 11 = 1331.

# Professor A's class has 100 students in its first year. The second year sees a 10 percent drop in enrollment from the previous year. The third year also sees another 10 percent drop from the previous year. How many students are in the class in the third year?

If you said 80, don't feel bad -- this is a common error. Ten is ten percent of 100, so many people subtract ten for the first year and ten again for the second. But the second year's class had 90 students, and a ten percent drop from 90 is nine -- leaving 81 students.

# What is the best definition of "solicit"?

To "solicit" something, like help, is to ask for it. To be "solicitous," on the other hand, is to be concerned and caring. This almost makes "solicit" what's called a "Janus word," or a word that can mean its opposite.

# "Everyone from the local police chief to the governor denounced the terrorisms." How should this sentence be rewritten to be correct?

"Terrorisms" is not a count noun (a noun which can be singular or plural, thus "counted.") The incidents are plural, but terrorism is a concept.

# "Tomorrow, we will shop for Halloween costumes." In this sentence, what part of speech is "Tomorrow"?

This was a tricky one, but it's clear that "tomorrow" modifies the verb "shop" -- it's when we'll shop. "Tomorrow" is often a noun, but not in this case.

# Which of these words means "nonchalant" or "unconcerned"?

"Insouciant" comes to us from the French language. This might be why we use it particularly when describing fashion statements, like the angle of a porkpie hat.

# "English wasn't my best class, but watching the BBC version of 'Pride and Prejudice' helped."

This is a perfectly serviceable sentence. (Speaking of English, we confess to having been better at it than math in school, in case you're noticing this quiz leans a little heavily on the former and light on the latter).

# What is the best definition of "prevalent"?

For example, "A love of the Red Sox is prevalent throughout New England." Now, if it was a love of the Yankees, that would be unhealthy in New England!

# Which of these is a synonym of delirium?

Delirium is a temporary madness, frequently caused by high fever. Delirium is marked by diminished awareness of surroundings and by speech that doesn't make sense.

# A winery sold 500 bottles of merlot in a year for \$16 a bottle. Next year, they are planning a 15 percent production increase, but a 5 percent price cut. How much money will they make if they sell the entire inventory?

You don't even have to do the math on what they earned last year. 500 times 1.15 is 575 bottles. Sixteen times .95 is 15.2. Multiply these two answers to get \$8740. (This is \$740 more than they made last year, despite the price cut).

# Which of these is a synonym for "proximity"?

If you really want to impress a reader or listener, try "propinquity." It means the same thing, though in earlier days "propinquity" was often used to refer to closeness in family relations or bloodline.

# "Sadly, more than a dozen people suffered second and third-degree burns." How should this sentence be rewritten to be correct?

The first option, which is correct, uses what is called "suspensive hyphenation." This cues readers "second-" has a parallelism with "third-" even though it's isolated in its spot earlier in the sentence.

# What is the best definition of "subterranean"?

A little Latin goes a long way, as UK quiz master Mark Labbett likes to say. "Terra" is the Latin word for "earth," and "sub," its prefix, meaning "below." (If you haven't seen the UK quiz show "The Chase," with Labbett as "the Beast," check it out on YouTube. It's highly recommended).

# "He was able to watch my dog at the last minute, for which I paid him handsomely." In the preceding sentence, what is the best definition of "handsomely."

"Handsome" has gradually come to refer almost exclusively to a man's looks. But in its adverb form, it retains the meaning of "generous" or "liberal."

# Which of these means "to suggest or threaten vaguely"?

"Adumbrate" is a \$10 word meaning "suggest or hint at, sometimes in a threatening way." Its core is the Italian word "umbra," for "shadow."

# "GMOs have been labeled 'Frankenfoods' by people who seem to believe that wellness bloggers have foreseen outcomes that geneticists could not." In the preceding sentence, which word is a neologism?

A neologism is an invented word, often for a very specific purpose. Until recently, "bloggers" would also have counted as a neologism, but now it's recognized by most English dictionaries.

# What is the best definition of "terminate"?

Generally speaking, "terminate" is not a verb you'd apply to a gradual or well-planned end. "Terminate" implies abruptness: "The program was terminated due to lack of funding."

# The numeral 3.14 is also known as what?

Pi is the constant used for finding the area of a circle. Area = 3.14 multiplied by the radius squared. This numerical constant gave its name to 314 Action, a group dedicated to getting people with STEM backgrounds into political office.

# The longest side of a right triangle is known as the _______.

A right triangle is one in which one internal angle is 90 degrees. The hypotenuse is the long side directly opposite this angle.

# Which of these words is correctly spelled?

The SAT was developed as a predictor of future academic success. Spelling is a famously poor predictor of that, and of intelligence in general. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a notoriously bad speller, and went on to be one of the greatest American novelists of the 20th century.