Learnist: ACT Science – Conflicting Viewpoints

In Conflicting Viewpoints passages, several different viewpoints or hypotheses will be presented on a scientific phenomenon. This is the least common of the three ACT Science passage-types.

The basic strategy for attacking this passage type is to:

  • Identify the phenomenon
  • Understand the basic theories
  • Circle the support

Unlike Data Rep or Research Summ passages, the Conflicting Viewpoints passage will not focus on data and results. This passage type is much more like RC. Keep the questions divided between the passages and don’t mix up the author’s opinions!

The main goal of Conflicting Viewpoints passages is to understand what the argument or conflict is about and what is different about each of the points-of-view.

Now that you know a little bit about the Conflicting Viewpoints passages, check out this sample passage and 4 questions. Notice the format of the intro paragraph, Scientist 1, then Scientist 2. On Test Day, you’ll be able to mark up the passages directly in the test booklet!