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ACT Science

The ACT Science Test assesses your skills of interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and problem-solving using scientific experiments and situations. While the Science Test includes passages from the content areas of biology, chemistry, earth/space sciences, and physics, only a basic knowledge of these fields is necessary.



What to Know:

  • Science is the last multiple-choice section of the ACT
  • You have a 35-minute time limit
  • You will most likely face 6 passages (2 Data Representation passages, 3 Research Summaries, and 1 Conflicting Viewpoints passage)
  • You will see 40 multiple choice questions
  • You will encounter a few, but not many, questions that will ask you to use some outside science knowledge.

*The ACT does not confirm how many passages you will face. It could potentially be 7, but recent tests have had 6.

What to Study:

  • Basic scientific concepts
  • Practice reading scientific charts and graphs (your high school science textbooks and The Real ACT Prep Guide are good sources).
  • You can read science articles for the general population, such as from Popular Science, to get more comfortable with the topic. If you are really motivated, check out the academic science articles from the Public Library of Science.
  • Learn how to work fast! ACT Science is a notoriously time-pressed test that overwhelms students with information. Doing practice tests under timed conditions can help you learn what you need to read and what you don’t.


What Not to Study:

  • Science! (Well, for the most part. Very few questions ask students to use outside science knowledge, and you likely will have learned it in school already. Maybe even in middle school.)


Where to Start:

Guess what? You’ve already started. Now that you have this basic information under your belt, right here on this page you will be able to find a lot more information on how to master the ACT Science Test.

ACT Science Test