The ACT Science Section

Uncategorized May 05, 2023

The ACT science section is notoriously intimidating to students, and it is a reason that many students opt not to take the ACT at all! While the section is definitely not for everyone, in my experience tutoring students, many students exceed their expectations and end up conquering the science section in the end.


I’m bad at science – should I skip the ACT?


Not necessarily! I’ve had many students who consider themselves “bad” at science who end up excelling on the ACT science section. It is more of a reading section than a science section, in my opinion. 


What makes it so difficult?


The science section is unlike any other science test you’ve encountered in school. It doesn’t test (much)  factual knowledge learned in school, but rather tests your ability to synthesize information from tables, charts, graphs, and short passages. The unfamiliarity makes many students underestimate their ability. Further, most students have no idea how to effectively approach this section, and end up running out of time and rushing, causing many careless errors.


The science section isn’t as hard as it appears


I’ve seen a sharp improvement in students once they master the correct strategy (hint: it does NOT require fully reading and understanding every passage). I would say, overall, it is still the hardest section for most students to master, but once it clicks for a student we typically see a steep improvement! I would say this section is one of the most “gameable” sections in any standardized test!

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