Strategies To Help You Test Better on The Act Science Test

You will have 40 questions in seven test units that you must answer in 35 minutes. The questions will evaluate your interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and problem-solving skills associated with science.

You will be reading about, and be tested on, Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Space Sciences, and Physics.

The ACT Science Test does not measure your advanced knowledge about these subjects, but some knowledge of scientific terms or concepts is needed. It assumes you have had 2 years of science coursework in high school. It emphasizes the application of scientific reasoning skills instead of your ability to recall content or your skill in math and reading ability.

Scientific information in the test passages is presented in 3 different formats:

Data Representation: This format will require you to understand, evaluate, and interpret graphs, tables, charts, or diagrams

Research summaries: This format will require you to understand, evaluate, analyze, and interpret the design, execution, and results of experiments.

Conflicting Viewpoints: This format requires you to evaluate several alternative theories, hypotheses, or viewpoints on a specific observable phenomenon.

Problem Solving Methodology

??Restate the problem

??What information is needed?

??Find the needed information

??Supply additional scientific information (terms or concepts) as needed

ACT SCIENCE Test Strategies:

??Pace yourself. You have less a minute for each of the 40 questions.

??Read the text, graphs and tables carefully and understand what the question is asking.

??When thinking about the information on a graph, identify what is displayed and what unit(s)of measurement are used. Notice the captions or legends or any explanation offered. Look for trends in the data. Understand the influencing trends.

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??Be able to identify axis labels, find information in keys, identify variables shown, determine relationships between variables (direct, inverse or other) interpolate data points, extrapolate a data trend, make hypotheses or predictions from the data, and translate data from one form into another.

??Gain an understanding of scientific processes if you don’t have that already. Be prepared to identify assumptions, hypotheses, controls and variables, how experiments compare to each other, and the good and bad characteristics of experiments. Be prepared also to determine the possible effects of altering the experiments and to make predictions from the results of experiments.

??When working with conflicting viewpoints, you will have to interpret the viewpoints, theories, or hypotheses, and determine how the viewpoints compare, along with their good and bad characteristics. Be prepared to determine how the different viewpoints explain the same phenomenon.

??With all your preparation, you will score better than you would have before the preparation. Maybe even that coveted 36. And, even if you don’t like your score, you can take the test again and keep the best score.

Good luck and here’s to you scoring your best on the ACT Science Test.