ACT Science Test Description
The Science Test is a 40-question, 35-minute test that measures the skills required in the natural sciences: interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem solving.
You are not permitted to use a calculator on the Science Test.
The test assumes that students are in the process of taking the core science course of study (three years or more) that will prepare them for college-level work and have completed a course in Earth science and/or physical science and a course in biology.
The test presents seven sets of scientific information, each followed by a number of multiple-choice test questions. The scientific information is presented in one of three different formats:
· data representation (graphs, tables, and other schematic forms)
· research summaries (descriptions of one or more related experiments)
· conflicting viewpoints (expressions of several related hypotheses or views that are inconsistent
with one another)
The questions require you to:
· recognize and understand the basic features of, and concepts related to, the provided
· examine critically the relationship between the information provided and the conclusions
drawn or hypotheses developed
· generalize from given information and draw conclusions, gain new information, or make
Content Covered by the ACT Science Test
The content of the Science Test includes biology, chemistry, physics, and the Earth/space sciences (for example, geology, astronomy, and meteorology). Advanced knowledge in these subjects is not required, but background knowledge acquired in general, introductory science courses is needed to answer some of the questions. The test emphasizes scientific reasoning skills over recall of scientific content, skill in mathematics, or reading ability.
The scientific information is conveyed in one of three different formats:
· Data Representation (38%). This format presents graphic and tabular material similar to that found in science journals and texts. The questions associated with this format measure skills such as graph reading, interpretation of scatterplots, and interpretation of information presented in tables, diagrams, and figures.
· Research Summaries (45%). This format provides descriptions of one or more related experiments. The questions focus on the design of experiments and the interpretation of experimental results.