We've written the best ACT Science guide available anywhere. This is not an exaggeration—we've studied dozens of ACT prep books and online resources, both paid and free, and we believe this is the best resource available right now, by far.
In this guide, we cover every question type on the ACT Science section and give you strategies to attack them. In addition, we provide you with our best ACT Science tips and teach you how to get the most out of your ACT Science practice and ACT prep.
If you're serious about raising your ACT Science score, read through every link. By mastering all the key concepts, engaging with realistic practice questions, and reviewing your mistakes, you'll dramatically improve your ACT Science score.
I've organized the guides logically, based on how you'll proceed through your ACT Science prep. We'll start off by looking at the ACT at a high level and getting yourself in the right mindset. Next, we'll dive into the individual skills tested on ACT Science. Finally, we'll explore study plans and explain how you should spend your time in order to maximize your score improvement.
In your first pass, try to read these guides roughly in this order. As you study, you can then come back and use this article as a reference to keep your ACT Science prep on track!
High-Level Guidance for ACT Science
These guides set the stage for your learning. How should you think about ACT Science? What high-level strategies should you keep in mind? In addition, we'll go over the overarching structure of the ACT as well as the types of content you'll see on it.
The first step is to make sure you understand the basic format and requirements of ACT Science. It might be different from what you think! This article explains what kinds of concepts you'll see on it and how questions will look on test day.
The ACT Science section has the same number and types of passages on every single test, so it's important to familiarize yourself with what these might look like. Read this guide to learn the three types of Science passages and the types of questions that are unique to each one.
It's a common misconception that ACT Science requires you to be a science genius. This is 100% false! In reality, you simply need to know how to read scientific passages effectively as well as how to interpret data. With this guide, learn how to excel on the ACT Science section through reading comprehension and focused practice.
Are you intimidated by ACT Science because you haven't done that well in your high school science classes? Don't fret! In this guide, we show you how you can excel on this section, even if you don't know anything about quantum physics.
Doing well on the ACT Science section doesn't require just answering questions well—it involves approaching the reading passages both efficiently and effectively. Learn how you should be reading the ACT Science passages and answering the questions that follow them using this guide.
If you're already doing well on ACT Science but want perfection, this is the article for you. Written by a perfect scorer, this essential guide will give you tips on motivation, strategies, and everything else you need to know in order to get your Science score to the highest level possible.
ACT Science Skills and Topics
These guides break down every single question type on ACT Science. You'll learn how questions work, get strategies and tips on how to answer them, and work with real ACT practice problems.
Working With Data
This is the most fundamental skill you'll need for ACT Science. If you can't read graphs reliably, it's impossible to do well on this section. Read this guide to ensure you know the best strategies for interpreting data from Science reading passages.
ACT Science questions often ask you to understand how data points relate to each other. Are they directly or inversely correlated? What are the trends? Learn the patterns of how data appears with this guide.
You'll also get questions dealing with finding values that don't actually appear on the graph. You'll need to infer what the values are from the data. Read this guide to learn how to do it right.
The ACT Science section tests your understanding of the scientific method. You need to be able to understand why an experiment was set up in a certain way, and what the experiment is meant to show. We teach you how to do all of this here.
When you conduct an experiment, understanding the results and conclusion is the final goal. Therefore, you'll often run into questions asking you to interpret conclusions from an experiment and decide whether the data supports those conclusions or not. Learn the skills with this guide.
There's always one conflicting viewpoints passage on ACT Science, and many students find it the most difficult of all. Multiple scientists will share their theories and you need to find the differences and commonalities between them.
On every ACT, there are always a few questions (three to four) that require you to know a little basic science outside of what's given in the passage. While these aren't hard concepts, you do need to be familiar with them. We've studied dozens of tests and compiled all the facts you need to know in this guide.
ACT Science Strategies and Tips
Now that you understand how the ACT Science works in-depth, it's time to put together everything you've learned and start to work on improving your skills. These guides take you through how to structure your ACT Science prep, focus your studying, and perform your best on test day.
You only have a limited number of hours to prep for ACT Science; thus, you'll need to maximize the efficiency of your prep so you don't waste time. Read our core study principles here.
It's important to practice for ACT Science using the right materials. If you were training for baseball, you wouldn't practice with Wiffle balls, right? Find out what practice questions and tests you should be using so you can train yourself correctly.
Constantly running out of time on ACT Science? This is a common problem. Try these strategies to save yourself time on every passage and as you answer questions.
More than any of the other sections on the ACT, the Science section rewards strategy more than knowledge. Read this article to learn the top 11 strategies you should definitely implement in your ACT Science prep.
The strategies you’ll need to use if you’re aiming for a 26 on ACT Science are not the same as those you'll need if you're aiming for a perfect 36. If you’ve already taken an official ACT practice test and are currently scoring below 26, read this article to learn how to boost that score and get yourself to the level at which you want to be.
We all make mistakes. The important part is understanding why you made a mistake and how you can avoid making it again in the future. Here, we break down the most common reasons test takers miss ACT Science questions and offer advice on what to do.
Over the many years of ACT Science, some questions have been truly difficult and head-scratching for even the most experienced test takers. We've collected the most difficult Science questions we've ever seen on real ACT tests and present them here. Go ahead and challenge your skills!
Need a quick fix to improve your ACT Science score? Read our expert tips to quickly improve your score without deep prep.
Conclusion: How to Use This Ultimate ACT Science Guide
This is a lot to take in—I know. But there's a lot to understand about the ACT Science section if you want to do well on it.
After you read these guides, the hard work starts. You need to gather high-quality resources to work with and diagnose your specific weaknesses on every practice test you take. You also need to train these weaknesses through focused practice and then adjust your study plan accordingly so that every hour is giving you results.
Above all, you need to stay motivated and be held accountable for your prep.
Not sure what ACT score to aim for? Read our in-depth guide to learn what a good ACT score is based on the schools you're applying to.
If this all seems daunting to you, I encourage you to check out our best-in-class online ACT prep program. Built by Harvard grads and perfect ACT scorers, our program learns your strengths and weaknesses through advanced statistics, and then customizes your program to you so you get the most effective ACT prep possible.
Our students often say that they love how the program takes the guesswork out of studying. You don't have to worry about what to study next or whether your time is well spent—we take care of that for you. All you need to do is work hard and follow our step-by-step customized program to improve your ACT score.
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As co-founder and head of product design at PrepScholar, Allen has guided thousands of students to success in SAT/ACT prep and college admissions. He's committed to providing the highest quality resources to help you succeed. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and earned two perfect scores on the SAT (1600 in 2004, and 2400 in 2014) and a perfect score on the ACT.