Many students are deterred from taking the ACT because of the daunting Science section. They argue that they are bad at science or that they cannot remember what they learned in their science classes from years ago. However, the common misconception about the ACT Science section is that you need to utilize science knowledge in order to score well. In fact, this section requires very basic science knowledge. In order to do well, a student needs to know the meaning and application of various general science terms such as density, altitude, equilibrium, gas, etc.
Ultimately, success on the ACT Science section can be accomplished with great matching skills. Treat this section like that card matching game you used to play as a child. Flip one card over, flip another card over, if they match, set the pair aside and continue on with the narrowed down cards. Read the question until you reach a word or phrase, then pause and “match” it with a diagram or table. Pay attention to the titles, headings, axes, labels, units, etc. Once you have found the “match,” return the question and keep reading until you reach another word or phrase and then match that. Continue until you have narrowed down the passage to the answer.
Of course, there are many other aspects to the Science Reasoning section of the ACT. Be cautious of words describing trends, such as “increase,” “decrease,” “less,” “more,” etc. Also, sometimes the questions require you to read graphs or tables in reverse or to infer beyond the information. With practice, you’ll be able to identify and tackle these types of tricky questions with ease. For the majority of the questions, however, just remind yourself to treat it like a matching game!