Know What You’re Being Asked
You can’t know the answer until you know the question.
This might sound obvious, but many a point has been lost by the
careless student who scans the answer choices hastily before properly
understanding the question. Take the following example:
cell membranes work to maintain a concentration gradient in which
there is a high water concentration inside the cell and a high sodium
concentration outside the cell. If the cell membrane contains transport
channels, these channels would allow sodium to
||flow out of the cell by simple diffusion
||flow into the cell by simple diffusion
||flow out of the cell by facilitated diffusion
||flow into the cell through facilitated diffusion
||flow into of the cell by phagocytosis
This is not a difficult question. The sodium will move
by simple diffusion from a high concentration gradient to a low
concentration gradient. But the question is long and contains a great
deal of information, so that by the end, a hasty student might have
mixed up whether there was a higher concentration of sodium inside
or outside the cell. This sort of mix-up might happen to the hasty
student on only a few questions, but a few questions are the difference
between a 730 and a 680 on the SAT II Biology.
To avoid getting confused on any questions, take a moment
to understand the question before answering it.
Read the question, and then vocalize to yourself what the question
is asking and what the pertinent information is. This process should
not take more than a second or two. But those brief moments can
make all the difference. For this question, once you’ve recognized
what you’re dealing with, you will have little trouble in correctly answering C.