right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We have changed the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.
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.

How to increase your speed in science?

GeocachGeocach 71 replies27 threads Junior Member
I always seem to be rushing towards the end.
6 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: How to increase your speed in science?

  • SN2016SN2016 3 replies1 threads New Member
    I also seem to be in the same situation. I really need every minute possible so I go directly to the questions without looking at any text at all and then figure out the chart/experiment/data/figure as I work through the questions. Only read when you are entirely sure that chart/experiment/data/figure doesn't contain the information to answer the question. As for fighting scientists, I quickly mark the individual passages to the questions they correspond with. For instance, "Scientist 1 most likely believes..." "It can be inferred by scientist 2 that as ___ increases ___ decreases" I will put the question number by the paragraph it is referring to.(these questions were made up for you to understand the gist of it.

    Please share any tips you have. Also, i'm struggling with reading and I find that If I don't quickly look at the questions prior to reading, then i'm just wasting my time.

    Good luck this weekend.
    · Reply · Share
  • GeocachGeocach 71 replies27 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, I never read unless the graph doesn't have enough info. I still am super pressured for time. So you look at the science questions about the scientists first and mark the paragraphs? I normally have just read a questions than skimmed the section it refers to, so I don't have to read everything.
    I find reading the easiest section actually.
    Honestly, I spend a total of 3 minutes reading each passage. I don't skim because I feel like it takes more time to find the answer. I spend 5 minutes answering questions. Usually most of the questions are pretty easy because I read in detail, but if it requires me to look through the entire passage I'll skip it until the end. I find that the first passage always takes the longest, but the last one seems pretty straight forward. I'd say to really be attentive during those 3 minutes reading and the questions should be no problem. The only time I miss any is if I'm pressed for time or I make assumptions. You can NEVER miss a questions if you find the answer restated in the passage. It can't be stressed enough to take as many practice tests as you can to get a feel for the timing and questions.

    The most important thing to remember is that all of the questions need to be directly stated in the text. You can't choose and answer just because you think it's "implied". The test tries to fool you when it asks you to logically infer something. Also, it really helps for me to remain focused and circle the questions in the book and waiting to transfer them to save time. Just make sure to read carefully and accurately blaze through the questions. Remember that and you should be golden.
    · Reply · Share
  • nadinem123nadinem123 226 replies26 threads Junior Member
    @Geocach do you answer the questions in order?

    I always leave the conflicting viewpoint passage until the end. I personally feel it's the one that takes the most time to find the correct answers, especially when you have to compare the different viewpoints.
    Before I start reading the different viewpoints, I skim the answers to see if a question only asks about a single viewpoint. Thereupon I read the stated viewpoint from that question alone and subsequently answer the question.

    As for the others: I always jump right to the questions and answer all those that can be read on the graphs. Whenever I see an unfamiliar term, I read the intro. If I still hadn't found the term, I read the descriptions of the experiment/study.

    However, the science passage has changed since the September test: there are only 6 science passages, but still 40 questions. (in contrast to 7 as before) On test day, it was the first time when I finished the science section with spare time, because I've always prepped for 7 science sections! So I assume if you rush towards the end with 7 passages, you could finish the new science passage easily on time.

    For reading, I first read the questions for about 30 seconds. I underline all keywords (you get a feel for them if you do several prep tests) and when a question states paragraph 5 "lines 40-59' states.. I mark the lines. Thereupon I start reading the passage attentively (but still fast) and whenever I stumble upon a keyword I go right back to the question and answer it. I always switch back from the questions to the passage. I always try to get an over all understanding of the passage, because when time is running out, I can "guess" on a few questions because I'm able to see it in context.

    Since I've tested my approach several times, I'm able to finish on time with a 33-35.

    · Reply · Share
  • GeocachGeocach 71 replies27 threads Junior Member
    @nadinem123 Yea I usually start from the beginning. When I tried to skip conflicting viewpoints until the end I didn't feel like I saved any more time. The questions just seem to require so much time.
    · Reply · Share
  • SN2016SN2016 3 replies1 threads New Member
    edited October 2015
    Thanks @Geocach and @nadinem123


    Perhaps your strategy might work. But I assume that if you do it that way, it's harder to answer the questions referring to both scientists. As for me, some of the reading introduced in the fighting scientists can involve complex ideas but a fairly easy concept to grasp. Therefore, by quickly marking the questions next to the paragraphs they are referring to (within a max of 20 seconds) will help me quickly answer the questions. I find that by doing so, i'm able to not have to reread the entire thing because I moved onto the next passage and forgot some of the complex ideas introduced in the first one.

    It's all personal preference, whichever works best for you. I feel that if you skim for the answers, you end up wasting more time because you're isolating yourself to look for the answer to one questions, then repeating the process to find the answer for another question in that same paragraph.

    Also, I don't know if you know this, but I'll say it anyways. Typically if there are 5 questions (charts and graphs) you should spend roughly 4 minutes. If there are 6 questions (experiments) you should spend 5 minutes. If there are 7 questions (fighting scientists) you should spend 6 minutes. Please don't think that you MUST spend exactly that allotted time. Sometimes, i've taken tests where i've finished the charts & graphs within 2 minutes of my allotted 4 minutes. It's all about working at the right pace and finding a efficient balance between solving the problems and not making careless mistakes.

    Once again,
    best of luck.


    Thanks! I'm currently using this strategy as well. I try to quickly read the questions and mark the line references or note the key words in my head as to what the questions are looking for within 30 seconds. I'm still currently falling for these simple traps on the reading and it's drastically reducing my score. Hopefully I will be able to improve by this weekend. Do you spend 8 minutes per passage as well? Also, if you have any more tips with this method, I'd appreciate it!

    Thanks and good luck to you too.
    edited October 2015
    · Reply · Share
  • nadinem123nadinem123 226 replies26 threads Junior Member

    I'm spending 8min 30 seconds per passage and whenever I can't find a solution I do POE and move on.
    Unfortunately I don't have any more tips..

    How do you approach the Natural Science passage? With the same technique?
    I do, but it's always the one I make the most mistakes. I'm not sure if it is because the scientific words and theories etc. confuse me, or because it's the last one and I'm rushing..
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity