Interpreting Evidence Correctly on the ACT and SAT

In all three types of ACT Science passages, you will need to be able to understand how evidence is presented and be asked to answer questions based on the evidence. These are a bit like Reading questions.

To interpret evidence correctly, you need to focus on the results. Draw logical conclusions based on the presented data, and actively read the information in the accompanying passage. It’s important to know the difference between direct and inverse variation.

To answer Interpreting Evidence questions correctly, ask yourself these 3 questions: – What is the evidence presented? – Whose position is supported by the evidence? – What does the evidence suggest?

Interpreting evidence for Data Representation and Research Summaries ends up requiring more Data Analysis skills, since data is a large component of those passages. For Conflicting Viewpoints, interpreting evidence is a matter of keeping the two theories (two scientists) straight. Watch this video for a strategy on how to do this!

This video describes how to answer “Inference” questions on the SAT and ACT Reading Test. You may wonder what this has to do with ACT Science, but sometimes interpreting evidence is a LOT less scientific than it sounds, and a LOT more like reading comprehension. Remember that you can only make an inference BASED on something directly stated. Incorrect answer choices are frequently “out of scope.”

 

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!