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ACT Science

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Lisa Youngvorst

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of ACT Science

Science 40 questions 35 minutes Each of the following seven passages is followed by several questions. After reading each passage, decide on the best answer and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer sheet. You are allowed to refer to the passage while answering the questions. Calculator use is not allowed on this test. DIRECTIONS Conflicting Viewpoints Passage Types Underline key differences and similarities between the theories Your task will simply be to discuss where these viewpoints agree and where they disagree Charts and Graphs Skip the introduction or skim quickly You will be asked to interpret a chart, graph, illustration, or table Experiments Similar to scientific journals: they generally present the goals, methodology, and findings of two or more related experiments Since there will most likely be fewer visuals than the other two types of passages, jotting down key words is helpful 1. Carefully read the introduction Reading a Scientific Passage These few lines will help orient your thinking and assist in developing a plan of attack. Underline words that you consider to be keywords. These underlined words will be the backbone of the data you must extract from the passage. 2. Skim the entire article Avoid trying to gain a comprehensive understanding of the content. As you skim, underline those key words and make a mental road map of the passage. 3. Check out the question Without jumping ahead to the possible answers, very carefully read the question stem. Make sure you know exactly what is being asked of you and consider the information you will be seeking. 4. Revisit the passage Skim your notes and review your mental road map for any data relevant to the question stem. 5. Match your answer to one of the options The correct response may use jargon and sound like gibberish but go with the answer that is the most similar to the response that you came up with. Never try to fully comprehend the massive amount of information this section will throw at you. Take away a general comprehension of the material and mental road map to be accessed later. TIPS Pay attention to italicized words and underline them. These terms will generally be followed by a definition, which may or may not arise in the question section. Circle units of measurement and key/reversal words such as decrease, increase, except, and not. If you're having difficulty comprehending the material, break down the passage into a few key components. Ask yourself the following questions:

What is the purpose of the experiment?
What is being tested and why?
What are the variables and the constraints?
How is the outcome affected by each variable change? The first questions you are asked will be those which test your general understanding of the passage. DO NOT SKIP THESE. If you cannot answer this sort of question, you did not comprehend the passage well enough. Questions to follow will be more complex and rely heavily on your ability to relate details to the big picture. Make sure to choose an option that actually answers the question. Test writers often include answers which merely state something true about the passage without addressing the inquiry. Don't be tricked by this maneuver. Never select any answer that isn't explicitly stated in the reading. As you read through your answer options, cross out those which contradict the passage or draw on the tendency to extrapolate data (meaning, make a hasty generalization of the data and assume information beyond what is given to you. Charts and Graphs Four levels of chart and graph comprehension:
1. Ability to identify information
2. Translate information from graphical to written form (and vice versa)
3. Utilize data to infer unstated information
4. Identify the trends which help forecast future steps in an experiment To accomplish these tasks, it is important to recognize the following... What is being represented on the X- and Y-axis or in the columns and rows Units of measurement Whether scales are continuous (generally in numerical intervals) or categorical (data clustered into discernible groups) Maximums and minimums Trends Critical points Proportionality
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