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Summary of Science ACT Test Strategies in Bullets! (for tutors and students alike:)

Summary of the Science ACT Test in Bullets


  • Science is the last multiple choice section of the ACT before students write their essay.

  • They have 35 total minutes to do 40 questions.

  • The test is split into 7 to 8 “passages”.

  • TIMING GOAL: Try to finish each passage in about 5 minutes to finish on time!

  • TEST SKILL REQUIRED: Stamina! It’s the final section of the big 4. Dig deep and focus to finish strong!

  • Each of the 7 “passages” is an annoying set of various figures, graphs and tables that describe a science experiment you have probably never heard of.

  • The passages have too much info to completely read through in time

  • Even if you did had time to read them, they might make you more confused because of all the weird science words.

  • The questions themselves make it unnecessary to read all the information because they give you hints where to look for your answers: mostly in the graphs and tables!

  • STRATEGY 1: Jump right to the questions!. You don’t have much time and the test itself is designed for this approach anyway!

  • TEST SKILL REQUIRED: Focus! Stick to this plan. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the info. Only look at the stuff you need to based on what the questions say!

  • It is not a science test like you do in school where your teacher cares that you know science.

  • It is more accurate to describe it as a test to see if you can get information from tables and graphs which happen to have science themes in them.

  • You don’t need to be a science whiz to do well.

  • The questions are not deep science questions.

  • STRATEGY 2: Don’t over-think the questions! This is not a test where they will ask you complex science questions. Instead they will ask simple questions in a confusing way. Answer the simple idea you think they are asking about underneath all the confusing words!

  • TEST SKILL REQUIRED: Reading questions find the main, easy idea.

  • Every question, no matter how hard or easy, is worth exactly one point.

  • The time allowed for this section is short.

  • STRATEGY 3: Don’t ever spend a lot of time on hard questions! If you do you will be wasting precious time for only one point! It’s better to guess quickly on the hard ones and move on to other easier questions.

  • TEST SKILL REQUIRED: Standardized test knowledge. Remember that this is not a time to show how much science you know. It is a time to use smart standardized test strategies to gather as many easy points as possible. So guess very quickly on those hard, weird questions.

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