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Kristin Fracchia

TuesdACT: The ACT Science Conflicting Viewpoints Passage


The Fighting Scientists

One of the most dreaded passages on the ACT Science test is the Conflicting Viewpoints Passage, known by some students as the “fighting scientists” passage because it basically presents two or more scientists or students duking it out over their theories on some type of scientific phenomenon.

A lot of students struggle with this passage because it does involve quite a bit of reading and because many of the questions are higher-level prompts that ask you to synthesize different bits of information or analyze new information introduced to the situation.

But you can make your job easier by knowing exactly what to focus on as you read and by employing a specific reading strategy.

So that is what this TuesdACT video is all about!

In this episode, I talk about your two main jobs as you are reading the passage: finding the thesis and finding the similarities and differences between the viewpoints. I also talk about the two main reading strategies you have to choose from, either reading the passage all at once or reading the viewpoints one at a time, and how you can decide which approach is for you.

P.S. Stay tuned for the special bonus hint at the end of the video about what it means when the Conflicting Viewpoints passage tips you off with the key phrase “According to the passage” ;).

P.P.S For more on the ACT Science Conflicting Viewpoints passage, check out this related blog post!


About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's blogs are chock-full of awesome, free resources for students preparing for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agonizing bliss of marathon running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.

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