By Talynn Walker
ACT Science Strategies
By: Talynn Walker
The Science portion of the ACT is 35 minutes long with 6-7 passages, and 40 questions. You don’t have to be a science genius to get a good score, you just need to be able to read scientific information and infographics. Here are a few strategies to help you with this portion:
Don’t get caught up in fancy scientific jargon:
*Put the questions and answers in your own words to make it a little easier than the fancy-pants
Get comfortable reading scientific passages:
*Don’t limit yourself to practice test.
*Science is in magazines, newspapers, TV, and the web.
*The more you expose yourself to science the more comfortable you will be reading science
passages on the test.
Conquer what you know first, and skip or guess if necessary:
*Questions are mostly in order of increasing difficulty.
*If you’re stuck on the last two questions of a passage and still haven't gotten to the final
passage, it might be best to put those two questions aside and move on.
*You can mark the questions and come back, or you can make an educated guess.
*Pace yourself, spend around 5 minutes total on each passage.
Devote extra time to interpreting data:
*Half the science test requires you to manipulate and analyze scientific data in all of its
*Recognize data trends, reason mathematically, and otherwise interpret the information hidden
Perform rough calculations:
*There are no calculators on the science portion
*Any math you need to do will be fairly simple
*Don’t be afraid to estimate if it will cut down on time
*You don’t need to be exact with mathematical answer, a rough idea of the number should be
enough for you to answer the question correctly.
Mark up your test:
*Come up with a method of circling important facts and information
*Here are a few specific tips:
-Circle the words you don’t know the meaning of
-Underline statements that you don’t really understand
-Draw lines on graphs to mark important data points or trends
-Write the trends you spot right on the plots and tables
-Circle numbers in tables and plotted points that are out of whack with the rest of the
Stay calm and focused:
A lot will be thrown at you and it makes it easy to be overwhelmed.
Take your time and pay attention to the passages.