Learnist: Point of View in ACT Science questions

The key to better scores on the ACT Science Test Conflicting Viewpoints passages is to hunt down each author’s point of view. As you read each passage, look closely for keywords that help you identify the author’s opinions.

If there are multiple paragraphs, remember that the scientist or student usually uses the first few sentences to introduce his topic and start a discussion of the main idea. The final paragraph wraps up the discussion and reinforces the Main Idea. If you are having trouble finding what the overall point of view is for the passage, go back to the very beginning and the very end.

Don’t feel like you need a big background in Science to get Point of View or other Science questions correct. These are very close to Reading Test questions! Use these three tips:

  • Don’t Be Confused by the Extraneous Information
  • Cut Through the Scientific Jargon
  • Never Leave an Answer Blank

Try a few practice questions on this ACT Science: Point of View learnboard!


Learnist: ACT Science and Data Representation

The Data Representation format on the ACT Science Test will ask you to understand and interpret information presented to you in graphs or tables. Occasionally there will also be charts, scatterplots, and diagrams.

As the video below outlines, it’s important to REALLY analyze all the data you’re given. The point of Data Rep is to determine your ability to pinpoint and extract conclusions from a series of data. 38% of the ACT Science passages will be in this format.

Making sure you have a strong understanding of the data will save you lots of headache when you read the questions. The questions will be so much easier if you spend just a few minutes focusing on the data. Check out tutor Jim Jacobson’s strategy for just how to do that in this video!

Need to see a passage in action? Sparknotes reviews some basic strategy, then shows you a passage exactly like one you’ll see on Test Day. Start with the intro, then when you get to the chart, you should glance over it to make sure that you know what’s being measured and that, in general, you feel comfortable finding information in the chart.

Now try some ACT Science Test Data Representation questions on your own on Learnist!



Learnist: Biology on the ACT Science Test

Passages dealing with Biology on the ACT Science Test may feature some of these concepts: body systems, cellular biology, photosynthesis, ecosystems, evolution, and genetics. Everything you need to know about them is in the passage!

This video covers the basics of Biology on the ACT — the topics are wide-ranging as you can see in the video. Stop the video before it begins talking about Physical Sciences. You can check out the ACT Science: Physical Sciences Learn Board to focus more on that later on!
Scientists have acquired biological knowledge through processes known as scientific methods. You will see that the experiments described in the Biology passages tend to follow these 6 steps:

  • observation
  • hypothesis
  • experimentation
  • analysis
  • conclusion
  • theory/law

Looking for even more Biology brush-up so you feel more confident with the subject matter of the passages? These online Biology video lessons help students understand Biology concepts so that they can improve test and quiz scores and more easily complete homework for your high school science class! Basically every possible ACT Biology subject is covered here!

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!

Learnist: All About Data Analysis on the ACT Science Test

Data Analysis comes up in two of the three ACT Science passage-types: Research Summaries and Data Representation. Data can be presented in tables, charts, graphs, etc. Use these tips to rock these questions on Test Day!

The key to data analysis is fairly easy: actually take the time to analyze the data! Most people skip parts of the information and go straight to the questions, but you’ll need to know where to look for the correct answer!

Two variables are in “direct variation” with each other if the following relationship holds: whenever one variable doubles, the other variable doubles. Two variables are in “inverse variation” with each other if the following relationship holds: whenever one variable doubles, the other variable halves. Variables commonly have one of these two relationships on the ACT Science Test.

Data Analysis primarily is required for Data Representation passages, since they typically have more data than Research Summaries passages. For these, always identify the purpose, method, and the results. The data is usually in the form of the “results.”

For some instructional videos and practice questions dealing with Data Analysis on the ACT, check out the ACT Science: Data Analysis learnboard from Learnist!

All About the ACT!

Everything you need to know about registering, prepping for, and taking the ACT exam is on this learnboard! Some fast facts:

The ACT exam is made up of 5 independent tests:

  • English Test
  • Math Test
  • Reading Test
  • Science Test
  • Writing Test (optional)

The ACT is offered 6 times a year: September, October, December, February, April, and June. You can register for your test date online. You can print your admission ticket from the website. Make sure to bring it with you on Test Day!

The score of the ACT exam is based on the number of questions you answer correctly. There is no penalty for guessing! That means you should answer EVERY question! Your raw score for each section of the ACT is converted to a scaled score, which ranges between a 1 and a 36, with 36 being the highest possible score.

Most scores are available for online viewing within 2 ½ weeks after your test date. Your scores are not reported any faster if viewed online.

Learn more fast facts about the ACT, and take a free full-length practice test on this Learnboard!