ACT Science Flashcards
The ACT Science exam is a common point of anxiety for many high school students. If you find yourself stressed about this part of the exam, know that you are in very good company. For most students, this anxiety is not well justified. Consider that the ACT Science exam will never ask you questions about specific details from the Biology 101 class you took years ago. In fact, almost all the questions on the ACT Science exam are answered for you, right in the accompanying passage!
The ACT’s Science section includes questions that fall into three broad categories: data representation, research summaries, and conflicting viewpoints. In questions using a data representation format, you will have to interpret provided graphs, tables, and charts. You probably have plenty of practice with this skill, as graphs and data tables appear in math and science courses typically taken in high school. In questions based on research summaries, you will have to apply reading comprehension skills to extract the main idea out of passages describing scientific endeavors. You may actually find yourself using skills developed in English or history classes for these questions rather than those skills you’ve practiced in math or science classes. Finally, in questions based on conflicting viewpoints, you will have to analyze primary scientific data or related conclusions, often forming judgments based on incomplete or conflicting information. Many students find these questions to be the most challenging. Whether you need ACT Science tutoring in New York, ACT Science tutoring in Chicago, or ACT Science tutoring in Los Angeles, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.
Despite being challenging, you will notice that none of these skills are truly science-specific. The ACT Science section will not demand that you distinguish an igneous rock from a sedimentary rock, for example. Instead, all of the skills the section tests involve critical thinking and analytical interpretation of provided information. You don’t have to do science, you have to interpret science! Varsity Tutors offers resources like a free ACT prep book to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an ACT Science tutor.
The best way to get better at interpreting science is with practice. Practice passages, practice questions, and simply reading dense, unfamiliar information can be a great start to succeeding on the ACT Science exam. In fact, you may find that it is helpful to practice explaining the main idea of passages or data tables in your own words. As you get better at identifying the main idea of presented information, your ACT Science scores can benefit from your increased skill level.
There are some basic ideas with which you may wish to be familiar before test day. A general understanding of the different steps of the scientific method will help you ensure that you have the conceptual foundation to interpret the information presented in almost any passage. Consider working with sample passages to correlate the information presented with different steps of the scientific method, asking questions along the way. Challenge the authors in your mind; why would they use one approach over an alternative? What is the purpose of a particular strategy in a passage? This active approach to passage interpretation is precisely the strategy that will be demanded in college and in your career, and is a critical skill that standardized examinations like the ACT Science test wish to gauge. Mastering it now will pay off both on test day, and far into the future!
If you want to test your readiness for the ACT Science section right now, you can do so using Varsity Tutors’ free ACT Science Flashcards. Each Flashcard consists of one multiple-choice practice question modeled after the content of the ACT Science exam, and comes with a full explanation of how to figure out the correct answer. Any questions you miss can thus be turned into opportunities to identify the error you made and adjust your approach to that particular question type. Our ACT Science Flashcards are organized by which branch of science the question concerns as well as which type of question is asked, allowing you to hone in on your weak areas as soon as you identify them. You can work through our free ACT Science Flashcards on the Learning Tools website or by using the Varsity Tutors app, allowing you to study on the go. In addition to the ACT Science flashcards and ACT Science tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our ACT Science practice tests. Don’t let apprehension about taking the ACT stop you from analyzing your current abilities and working on the areas you find most difficult with the help of Varsity Tutors’ ACT Science Flashcards and other free ACT Science resources!