Struggling to improve ACT science score--tips and tricks?


This is my first post here so hopefully it’s in the right place :slight_smile:

I’ve taken the ACT twice now and both times my composite score has been a 33. My section scores for reading and English have been 36’s, but I’m struggling to improve in math and science. I did worse by 2 points on the science section the second time I took it (I got a 29).

How can I improve my science score in particular? Are there any tips and tricks that I’m missing? What in particular is the ACT looking for when it comes to science? The questions always seem so time-consuming and confusing. How can I prepare for this? I’m planning on studying a lot and taking it a third time, so is there anything I should focus on while studying? I would love to score a 34-35 overall.

Thank you so much!

My daughter read the answers first and then went back and skimmed the body of the question for the science section. She raised her score 4 points doing that.

PS. A 33 is a great score!


Thanks!! I’ll try that :slight_smile:

Practice, practice, practice. All the info you need is on the page with science. Our tutor said it should most closely align with the reading score so you should definitely be able to improve. I am not sure it is something you can really study for - just do timed practice tests and then review the answers and be sure you understand why the correct one is correct.

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The ACT science section is not about science. It’s about data interpretation. For this, you need to do a lot of real ACT science sections for practice. There are 5 free ones in any year of the Official Guide to the ACT, and they usually only change one test in it per year, so you can buy a one or two year old version, more cheaply. There are also many old retired tests that are LEGALLY in the public domain (they release a few every year). To find links to these, try googling and looking in Reddit’s ACT prep threads. Whatever you do, if you encounter anything trying to steer you towards anything other than these legally released tests that are legally in the public domain, RUN.

The 5lb Act book by Manhattan is excellent and many practice questions. Do those and the above suggestions. 33 is a great score. If you can get to 34… That is like the great avg for just about any school out there.