There are certain facts that everyone just knows: the earth orbits the sun. Yellow and blue make green. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. An adjective modifies a noun or pronoun. Bees make honey.
Unfortunately, what you know has no place on the SAT Critical Reading section. The Passage-Based Reading questions assess how well you read a passage, not what you know about the topic in the passage. One of the biggest mistakes a student can make is to bring his or her experience and expectations into the SAT. Your opinions and prior knowledge are not relevant on the reading portion of the test, and you should be careful not to let them influence your understanding of a text.
"True to You" answers are wrong answer choices designed to take advantage of your assumptions and previous experience with a topic. Consider a simplified passage and sample question:
In late summer, black bears begin gorging on carbohydrate-rich foods in order to put on significant weight and body fat. They can gain as much as 30 pounds in a single week! Once fall arrives, the bear prepares its den, lining it wiht leaves and other plants to form a nest.
1. According to the passage, black bears seek "carbohydrate-rich foods" (line 1) primarily because they
Unless you skipped kindergarten and most of elementary school, it’s likely that you know bears hibernate. Answer choice (A) is depending on this knowledge to seduce you into selecting it as the right answer choice. But you would be wrong.
The passage never mentions hibernation. The reason it provides for the black bears gorging on carbs is to put on significant weight and body fat. The correct answer is (B). But many, many test takers would choose (A) because they applied their prior knowledge to the passage and failed to read the remaining answer choice.
If the author does not state or imply an idea, it simply is not true in the context of the passage. Read each answer choice carefully to determine whether the information contained within is presented in the passage or is playing on your prior knowledge.
Photo: Does a bear shoot in the woods?, courtesy of Theresa Thompson