Question of the Day: ACT Science
Two scientists wanted to test the solubility of different substances. Solubility is a measure of how many moles of a given substance (known as the solute) can dissolve in a given volume of another substance (known as the solvent). The solvent can also be thought of as the substance present in greater amount, while the solute can be seen as the substance present in lesser amount. The scientists performed the following experiments to investigate this property.
The scientists tested the number of moles of several substances that could be completely dissolved in of water at various temperatures. They made their solutions by slowly adding amounts of each substance to beakers sitting on a hot plate containing water and a stirring rod until no more of the substance dissolved in the solution. The beakers were weighed before and after the additions and the difference in mass was calculated to be the added mass of the substance. The researchers then calculated the number of moles that dissolved for each trial using the molecular mass and the recorded mass for each trial. Results are recorded in Table 1.
In this experiment, the scientists wanted to test the solubility of in a variety of liquids at several temperatures. Their procedure was similar to that of Experiment 1, but with a range of liquids and only one solid. The results are compiled in Table 2.
Why did the scientists weigh the beakers before adding any solutes to them?
By weighing the beakers first, the scientists could make sure their balance was working properly.
The scientists weighed the beakers beforehand in order to make sure their beakers weren't damaged.
The scientists weighed the beakers beforehand in order to know how much of each solute to add.
By weighing the beakers first, the scientists could find the added mass by subtracting the initial mass.
Facing the ACT is stressful for even the best students. You know that this test can have a major impact on the success of your college applications. Unlike your GPA, extracurricular activities, or letters of recommendation, the ACT Science test is totally objective. For example you might attend a school that grades students with far more rigor than another. A university needs an objective measure to distinguish your transcript from a student with the same GPA, but from a less rigorous program. The ACT is just that tool.
You also know that the ACT is not like tests you have taken in classes. Instead, it is testing the development of your critical thinking skills over the past four years. Four years on one exam day! 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.
That’s a lot of material to test. Because of just how much material there is, many students can feel lost about where to start. You may look at the sections included on the test, and panic when you see Science listed . . . especially if you are one of the many students who struggled in some of their high school science courses! Will you have to answer questions about that frog dissection from two years ago? Will you need to identify rocks from your Earth Science class? That might as well have been a lifetime ago.
Hopefully it calms your nerves a little bit to recognize that none of these things will be directly tested. You won’t have to dig up the details of your classes from several years back, nor will you be facing questions about advanced quantum physics or rocket 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 ACT Science exam tests exactly what the rest of the ACT tests: your ability to think critically, analyze provided material, and draw inferences. It is far more a reading comprehension test, in fact, than a science test. It just so happens that you will be asked to comprehend passages based on science, which makes some students immediately anxious. This anxiety, unfortunately, does not set a good foundation for success on the exam!
Clearly, familiarizing yourself with the ACT Science exam before your actual test day is critical. Appreciating the exam for what it is, is critical. You may want to consider working with tutors, teachers, or in a test-preparation program to help you overcome the anxiety many students feel, and appreciate that your success on this exam is based on the same principles that you would need to succeed on any reading comprehension test.
It’s also important to consider that the time you spend on improving your performance on the ACT Science test doesn’t just pay off on test day. Precisely because the test is asking you to draw inferences, make conclusions, and think critically, you are developing skills that will be demanded in a wide variety of later academic pursuits. The time you spend preparing for the ACT Science exam can be thought of as a broad investment in your future performance across many disciplines.
Without a doubt, proper preparation for the ACT Science exam is essential. Overcoming anxiety is probably the first step. Varsity Tutors’ free ACT Science resources, and specifically our free ACT Science question of the day, can help you take the next step of making studying for your exam a habit. Our daily featured ACT Science problem provides the correct answer and a full explanation when answered; if you get it right, you gain confidence in your abilities, and if you get it wrong, you have the opportunity to fine-tune your understanding. In addition to the ACT Science Question of the Day and ACT Science tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our ACT Science practice tests. With practice questions, strategy, and proper perspective, you can achieve a great score and be well on your way to your dream college!