ACT Science Practice Questions and Test Tips

act science practice

Relax. Proper ACT science practice will help you close any gaps in your science knowledge.

The ACT Science test consists of 40 questions and lasts 35 minutes. The test measures your interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem solving skills related to the natural sciences.

Quite simply, seven sets of scientific information will be presented, and each will be followed by a series of multiple choice questions.

The Three Formats for Scientific Information

  1. Data Representation (tables, graphs, etc.)
  2. Research Summaries (descriptions of several related experiments)
  3. Conflicting Viewpoints (expressions of several related hypotheses or views which are inconsistent with one another)
All of the questions challenge how well you understood the basic concepts and meanings of the provided information. Calculators are not permitted on the test.

Science Test Tips

  • Pace yourself – There are 40 ACT science questions to be answered in 35 minutes. Ideally, spend about 30 seconds on each question; this gives you ample time to review your work and return to more difficult questions.
  • Read carefully – Before reading the questions, make sure you read the scientific material. It’s perfectly fine to jot down important notes and ideas on the test booklet or provided scratch paper.
  • Opposing viewpoints – Some questions present you with multiple viewpoints, and ask for you to distinguish among these different viewpoints. It is very helpful to jot down short notes about each viewpoint, so you can easily look back and compare.
There are three main areas which the science test will cover. The overall idea of the science portion is not to test your advanced knowledge in specific areas, or skill in math or reading ability. The test emphasizes scientific reasoning ability over anything.

The Three Formats for the ACT Scientific Information

  1. Data Representation (38%) – Replicates content which would likely appear in science journals and texts. Skills involved for these questions include graph analyzation, scatter-plot interpretations, and interpretation of tabular data.
  2. Research Summaries (45%) – These question focus on the design of experiments and the interpretation of experimental results.
  3. Conflicting Viewpoints (17%) – These questions represent different expressions which are inconsistent with one another. These questions focus on the understanding, analysis, and comparison of alternate viewpoints or hypotheses.

Science Quiz

Complete quiz using multiple choice