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Students taking the ACT Science test are presented scientific information in three basic forms: research summaries, data figures (tables, graphs, charts) and conflicting viewpoints. Therefore, students must recognize and interpret fundamental features of the given information/data, and be able to critically review relationships between the data and the given conclusions or hypotheses. And students must be able to draw their own conclusions, make predictions and/or generalizations based on the data presented. All this in 40 questions and in 35 minutes. Whew! ACT Science Test Prep can help!
Here are 7 tips to use now that can make the ACT Science test a little less daunting:
1. Read the directions, instructions and test questions carefully. The #1 key to successfully finding the correct answer to the actual question being asked is looking at the directions first so you don’t make avoidable mistakes. Practice reading the directions (see tip #2).
2. Practice. Students should take as many practice tests as possible. Increasing the number of times a student can encounter and answer these questions correctly, the better the performance will be on the real ACT. Also practice timing students (see tip #3) while taking the test. And practice the simple math skills necessary to answer many of these science questions. Practice, practice, practice.
3. Use time wisely. Using a timer while taking practice tests can improve students’ rate of time spent processing the associated information and answering questions. Students can learn a lot about their own test taking tendencies and tighten up the slow areas. Timers do not lie and give an accurate picture of how well students are moving through the test.
4. Retain, recall and reuse current lab work from school. All information and experiments already completed in class right up to the test date are valuable pieces of information to think back on when studying and taking the test. This increases students’ familiarity with the work, their general scientific knowledge base and decreases the amount of time taken to identify information and answer questions because the material is actively living in their school life.
5. For passages I-IV, if the question refers to the passage, skim the passage for key information. It is not always necessary to read the entire passage. Details can be found by skimming and then underlining the important facts for reference when considering and narrowing down choices to the correct answer. This is true more for these early sections (see tip #7).
6. Pay close attention to all graphs, charts, and tables. Specifically focus on these types of given information when the questions say “Refer to the figure...” or “In the figure....” And students should read any introductory information included with the figures, including the legends or any information given near the figure. Then, interpret, identify and understand this given information before answering the questions. This saves time and increases effectiveness.
7. For Passages V-VII, students need to slow down and read through the experiments with greater depth. Particular passages will present conflicting viewpoints and warrant reading selections separately, making notes and understanding the fundamental differences between the two opposing views or the data. This is the place to spend the extra time that was saved by using the above techniques. Focus it the key here.
Bonus tip: Passages are arranged according to level of difficulty. Passages I-IV are easier than V-VII and can be approached accordingly.
Using these tips, any student can get a better ACT science score.
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