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Science in the ACT

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Science. As soon as you see it, you might be thinking: Biology? Physics? Chemistry? How am I supposed to know all this? It can be very daunting, approaching this section in the ACT, but you shouldn’t fret! If you’re well prepared and know exactly what to expect, it can be as easy as 1-2-3.

The creators of the ACT purposefully called this section the Science Reasoning section. There are three different parts in the Science Reasoning Section:

  • 3 Data Representation passages
  • 3 Research Summaries passages
  • 1 Conflicting Viewpoints passage

The keyword from this list is the word “passages”. There will essentially be data, graphs, and scientific information within these passages, but they test you on how well you interpret these figures, not on how well you know the difference between meiosis and mitosis. Sure, these passages will be covering topics in biology, chemistry, and physics; however, the bulk of what you need to know about these certain sciences can be found in the passages itself.

The data representation part will provide graphs, charts, and images within the passage. You will be tested on how well you can interpret these, and how you can extract the data to answer the questions. Research summaries include two or three similar experiments with data collected from each one. Again, you will be tested on how well you can interpret the data from these experiments. Finally the conflicting viewpoints passage will present two conflicting theories of the same phenomenon, and you will be tested on how well you understand the similarities and differences between the two.

It all sums up to one statement: you should approach this section the same way you would a reading section!
This article was written for you by Frances, one of the tutors with Test Prep Academy.

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