Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.
While general discussion about the ACT test is allowed by ACT, discussion of test questions may violate your agreement with ACT. Please be thoughtful in your posts and replies.

Need a new science strategy

jimi123jimi123 Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
edited March 2012 in ACT Preparation
I took the test this february and got a 30. Not a bad score, but I was really hoping for a 32. Here are my subscores:
English: 33
Reading: 30
Math: 30
Science: 27
It's obvious that science is the root of the problem. My strategy has been that I would always skip to the questions, refering to the passage when needed, so I don't know where to go from here. I think my problem is that I panic from seeing time running out, which causes me to waste even more time. I also need a strategy to efficiently orient myself with the passages. I have done lots of practice - I think too much (I did not look at my practice tests for very long after completing them). Maybe I should just chill and wait for the next test? Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks
Post edited by jimi123 on

Replies to: Need a new science strategy

  • samz101samz101 Registered User Posts: 103 Junior Member
    I got a 33 on science. I just went through and did the ones that looked the least intimidating and stuff that I had done during the school year, such as the genetics stuff. After that I did the graphs, because I'm fairly good at graph interpretation. When I finished those I went on to the reading ones (I suck at reading comprehension). I pretty much guessed on the remaining problems. I also recommend just going back to some science basics that you may have forgotten. Good luck!
  • jimi123jimi123 Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
    Thanks, I'll try that method when I take my next practice test.
  • marcwithakmarcwithak Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Here are a few different ideas (not listed in order of importance):

    1) Practice with the following timing parameters: 4 minutes/5 question passages ("data representation"); 5 1/2 minutes/6 question passages ("research summaries"), and the remaining time for the "conflicting viewpoints" passage.

    2) If you are matching data points in a question to a figure, write those points on the figure in the right place so you don't waste time going back & forth. Also, when a figure has a few lines and a key, write the names from the key next to the lines to avoid careless errors (e.g. the top line of two lines may represent the smaller metric but your natural tendency is to assume that it's the larger one).

    3) Here's what you should read before you start answering the questions: Data Representation passages - NOTHING; Research Summaries - read the introduction so you understand the research/experiments; Conflicting Viewpoints - FIRST, glance at the questions to see if there are a lot more questions that pertain to one of the passages. Needless to say, read that passage first to ascertain that scientists opinion. Then, read the 1st sentence of the other passage to ascertain the contrasting opinion. Now answer the questions for the passage that you read first.

    4) The questions in each passage get harder as you go. If you're behind on time, make an educated guess on the last question(s). In other words, quickly read the questions, eliminate obviously wrong answer choices, and then guess.

    5) Generally speaking, it's easy to match data from the questions to the appropriate figure (i.e. to find the figure with the appropriate data points). If you cannot quickly match the data points, that's a signal that you need to read a part of the passage to answer the question OR use logic to answer the question.

    6) After you read a question, always glance at the answer choices before you go to the figures. This gives you a sense of what you're looking for.

    7) One exception to item #3 above: If you happen to get a passage on a subject that you know well, you should quickly read the background information and understand the figures before you answer the questions.

    Good Luck
  • jimi123jimi123 Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
    Dude thanks, that was thorough. I'll try this method too.
This discussion has been closed.