Contrary to what you may have heard, the ACT science test doesn’t have to be this difficult and scary thing you dread. Of course, this is a life-changing moment for many students. The outcome of the test could impact their ability to get into the dream colleges. Still, it is just a test. And proper preparation is a life-changer.
So, how do you get ready for the test? You can do that by studying strategically and applying proven tips that can help you maximize your results. Still, there are so many recommendations and ACT science tips that it can be time-consuming to go through all of them. That’s why in this article, we have distilled the most effective tips into five potent tactics that you can apply immediately.
5 ACT Science Tips You Need to Know
Anyone preparing to travel to a new country needs to know what to expect and how they can make the most of their time and enjoy the experience. Training for the ACT test is a bit like that. Here are some practical ACT science tips to help you get ready for the journey.
Tip 1. Learn More About the Structure and Format
Perhaps you already know the structure of the different ACT test sections. If not, learning about the format of the ACT science test can help you understand what to expect, how to prepare, and exactly what you need to do to excel. The ACT science test has 40 questions divided into three passages:
- Data representation (30-40% of the exam)
- Research summaries (45-55% of the questions)
- Conflicting viewpoints (15-20% of the science test)
With this information, you are better able to prioritize these areas in your studies and focus on relevant topics that will improve your scores. One important thing to look out for is the fact that each part of the test requires you to approach the questions differently, which brings us to the next tip.
Tip 2. Look for Clues and Patterns
People often mistake passive reading for studying, but there’s a world of difference between the two. While studying, you want to ensure that you fully get and retain the gist of the text. One way to do this is by looking for the main points of what you are studying. A lot of scientific knowledge is observing, noticing repeated patterns, and drawing conclusions. Try to identify patterns and links between different topics. Then quiz yourself and see how much you understand. How does this help you in the test?
Like the reading exam, the ACT science test also requires you to read the passages and then answer the questions. The ACT science section has rules that tell you what you are expected to do. Learn to pay attention to the instructions and find the clues hidden in the questions. For example, if the question says “according to x…” or “based on y tables graphs,” then the answer is based on your understanding of the information referenced in that section. You should always underline key points while studying, as this will come in handy when you are reading the ACT science passage during the test.
Tip 3. Start Now to Build Your Speed
This is one of the best ACT science tips to help you approach the test day with confidence. On average, you get only 7 minutes to answer all the questions in each passage. Keep in mind that there could be 6-7 passages, each with around 5 to 8 questions, and only 35 minutes to answer them. An effective time management secret that can help you is to try to answer the easy questions first and then come back to the hard stuff later. Besides, start to time yourself when doing ACT practice tests. By doing that, you will get a better understanding of your time limits and potential gaps. As a result, you will get better at finishing up before the time runs out.
Tip 4. Pay More Attention to Your Weaknesses
One essential science tip you can use now to prepare for the ACT and other future exams is to give more attention to the areas where you are struggling. Remember that there are several types of ACT science passages, each testing you on different skills. And to understand your potential weaknesses, you have to practice each part of the science exam as much as possible.
You could start by spending a couple more minutes each week trying to grasp how to answer questions on independent variables correctly. Later, you could try analyzing and interpreting the information in data representation passages and so on. During this practice, you can find some confusing or unclear topics, and that’s exactly what you have to train more. Chances are that you might need some help. In this case, a private online tutor can guide you and give you the kind of attention that makes your studying easier and more effective.
Tip 5. Go Easy and Be Flexible
Building flexibility is one underrated ACT science tip. Understandably, many students get anxious and try to create a rigid study timetable that leaves little or no time for anything else. But this can backfire. Like with many things in life, you want to set realistic expectations and leave some room for rest, socialization, and hobbies. Otherwise, you can burn out and crash. You don’t want to fall sick when you have an important test coming up, do you?
Besides, the flexibility you pick up in your ACT science practice will come in handy during the exam. Maybe you learn all the scientific terms and methods and find that you don’t recall a particular method just when you need it. Don’t panic. You want to be able to move on quickly from a question that stumps you rather than remain fixed on it and waste precious time.
Things to Remember When Studying for the ACT Science Section
Getting ready to tackle the ACT science passages waiting for you on the test day can be nerve-wracking for anyone. That’s why we’ve collected some hacks to help you make the most of your study sessions.
- Create a strategic study plan and stick to it. You can’t pick a random topic today and then change it the next day. You need a logical agenda. Ask for help with your study plan and get someone you look up to, like your parents or tutors, to hold you accountable.
- Be consistent. Studying even for 30 minutes each day can be more beneficial than trying to do a six-hour learning marathon once a week. Take regular breaks, too, as it is easy to lose focus during long study sessions.
- Set a study space with less distraction. Even if you are well-organized, it is hard to concentrate when you have a sibling or a friend telling you some stories. That’s why you have to reserve an area where you have as little distraction as possible. Your local library could be a good option if you cannot find any suitable place at home.
- Schedule your study session wisely. Planning is essential, but remember that you want to leverage your ‘productive time’ when you feel mentally alert. Depending on your preference, this could be the early hours of the morning or a little later during the day. Still, you can try different times and see which works best for you.
The good news is that there are so many awesome ACT science tips that you can just try them all out and choose the ones that work for you. Remember that the more effort you put into your studies, the higher your chances of passing the test are. At its core, the successful ACT exam is all about practicing and being strategic. Start getting ready as soon as possible, and you will be able to achieve any desired result.