Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts teaches you how to avoid careless ACT Science mistakes.

Pace yourself well, read the ACT questions carefully, and re-arrange the tables if needed.

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The ACT Science section is one of the trickier sections on the ACT. Half the battle to doing well on the ACT Science is pacing yourself wisely. You’ve got 35 minutes to do roughly 40 questions. You basically want to spend about five minutes per passage. There are seven passages. You have to read the questions really carefully. A lot of students make mistakes on the easier science ACT questions. Let’s go to the whiteboard. I’ll want to show you one of these questions students often miss.

Here is a pretty typical data representation of an ACT Science question. So, which graph best illustrates the relationship between heat released by foods and the change in water temperature? Here are your four graphs.

So what you have to do is go to Table 1, make sense of the information, and translate this information from the table to a graph. Now, what a lot of students will do is they’ll see the four different types of foods on the table, right? Bread, cheese, egg, and potato are all the same mass. Then they’ll see that the change in water temperature goes up and then goes down, so they automatically assume that the graph is going to fluctuate. So they are going to deduce that it’s either F or G.

But this is not a fluctuating graph. This is a linear graph because if you start with the least amount of change in water temperature, it’s the potato at 2.7 degrees Celsius. Then, you work your way to the egg, 5.6 Celsius, bread, and cheese. So, if you notice the output, the heat released for the smallest change in temperature is 3.2 kilojoules. So it’s like about right here. Then, you go over to the egg. 5.6 degrees Celsius is the change in water temperature. It renders 6.7 kilojoules.

Then you go to the next food source, which is the bread at 8.3 degrees Celsius, which renders 10 kilojoules of heat released. And then finally, the highest degree of water temperature change is the cheese at 14.1 Celsius, rendering 17 kilojoules of heat released.
You have to put the graph back into order from least to greatest change of water temperature and then see what the outcomes are. And clearly, this is a linear relationship between the two. Go with choice G.

So remember, guys. Half the battle to doing well on the ACT Science is pacing yourself well, reading the questions really carefully, and rearranging the tables if needed.

So, I wish you good luck in your ACT, and I will talk to you soon.

Are you ready for the ACT Science Section? What other questions or comments do you have about last minute ACT preparation?

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