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Suniti's Advice Corner

The ACT Science Section: It's Not Rocket Science!

Posted by Sybil St. Hilaire on Tue, Feb 25, 2014

In previous blogs we’ve talked about key differences between the SAT and ACT. One of the biggest differences between the two tests is the presence of the ACT science section. Today we wanted to share what exactly this section tests, its structure, and share some tips for doing well.

ACT Science sectionWhat is the ACT Science Section trying to test?

The makers of the ACT crafted the science section to test your ability to understand science-based passages that introduce new information about both familiar and unfamiliar concepts. You’ll be expected to observe, absorb, and analyze information presented in passage, chart, diagram, and graph form. In your analysis of this information you should demonstrate an ability to link cause to effect, identify trends, and extrapolate beyond the information given.

What is the structure of the ACT science section?

The ACT science section is comprised of 7 science-based passages with a total of 40 questions. You will have 35 minutes to complete this. Calculators are not allowed,

3 charts and graphs passages with 5 questions each
3 experiment passages with 6 questions each
1 science debate passage with 7 questions

Tips for acing the ACT Science Sections

  1. Make sure that you understand following terms: fixed, variable, constant, and fixed conditions.
  2. Remain time-conscious; you only have 35 minutes to attempt 40 questions.
  3. When presented with a new passage, read the question first and then find the answer by scanning the relevant passage/graph/chart. Be sure to take short notes on the side as you go along.
  4. Math-based questions will be simple, so use estimation and remember to attempt each question because there’s no negative marking for incorrect answers.
  5. When you come across a word you don’t know, don’t get caught up in how to spell or pronounce it. Use the surrounding words to understand the meaning of the unknown word. You can even shorten the difficult word and substitute an easier word.

Try your hand at realistic ACT science questions in our free 70 min diagnostic test. Click here to start your test.

Tags: For Students

About Suniti

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Suniti is the creator of TestRocker, an online learning platform that helps you unlock your dream SAT and ACT scores. TestRocker is based on Suniti’s highly successful and proven method of teaching students how to maximize their SAT and ACT scores, a method she has perfected through tutoring thousands of students globally for more than a decade. 

TestRocker is a one of a kind online SAT/ACT program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. After taking our diagnostic test a customized study plan, individualized to students' strengths/weaknesses, allows them to track progress as they work through the program. Each of the 1,200 SAT & 2000 ACT questions on TestRocker are accompanied by video explanations from Suniti. Parents are able to track their child’s progress through biweekly reports.

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