The science section is essentially a reading section with a lot of science information in it. It’s often difficult for students to keep their
information straight when they’re going through the science section. Today, we are going to learn two techniques for keeping your information straight and organizing your reading.

Rainbow Technique

The first technique. Say we have two passages in this science section, one called Hypothesis One and one called Hypothesis Two. One hypothesis says that they store lipids for migration during the winter, and the second hypothesis says that they store lipids for migration but not during the winter.

You’ll be asked questions about the differences between the hypotheses. So you’re going to notice that the stored lipids for migration are the same on both hypotheses, but it’s different in the wintertime.

So, we will circle winter on the first hypothesis and not winter on the second. Now, we’re going to draw a line between them to focus on the fact that this is the piece of information that is different between the two hypotheses. You’ll notice that this is not difficult to remember on its own, but when you start having multiple pieces of information per passage that are different or the same, it’s difficult to remember which are which, and it’s difficult to remember what the differences were. So here we have the differences in the rainbow, connecting what was different about them.

This is a super simple technique, but you’ll find that when you have a lot of in coming at you from a science passage, sometimes a full page of information, having a simple technique that you develop and practice like this rainbow technique helps your brain focus on
what’s important in the passage.

Variable Chart

The rainbow technique is useful for noting differences, and it’s also extremely useful for noting differences in text passages. But what are you going to do when you have a full page or maybe even more than a full page of tables that are summarized with different constants held for each table?

If you’re a fast worker, this is going to be one of your most useful techniques; I like to call it the variable chart. You have some room on your paper, and you’re going to draw a chart of everything that’s held constant and that varies within each study. It only takes a few seconds.

Both the rainbow technique and the variable chart will help you focus on what’s important in each science section, and it will increase your accuracy on each of the questions. Don’t forget you should practice, and you should also remember to adapt each of these strategies to your method of working.

In this video, ACT instructor Stephanie describes two powerful strategies for focusing on what’s important on an ACT science passage.

What was your biggest takeaway from this video tutorial about powerful strategies for focusing on what’s important on an ACT science passage? Do you have any question for Stephanie and Alexis Avila?

Post your comments below:

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter