Looking for tips, tricks and hacks for the ACT Science section?  Feeling anxious despite the fact that you’ve studied pretty hard, or maybe not at all? WELL, wherever you are in your ACT Prep, here are 3 insider techniques to help you save time, avoid careless palm to the face errors, and improve your overall ACT Science score!

Tip #1: Use Your Pencil

One of the biggest challenges of the science section is making sure you keep track of all the little details. Careless errors foil so many students in this section!  So, every time you read a question, don’t just read through it and expect to memorize all that uber scientific language that barely sounds like English. Instead, underline every single piece of information that is detailed. If a question asks you to reference Figure 2, double check that you are actually using Figure 2! Often students make the mistake of going to the wrong figure, looking up the wrong axis, or focusing on the wrong data set and they get the whole question wrong. The later you get into the questions, the more these details matter!

Tip #2: Turn Your Paragraphs Into Symbols

One of the things that I have trouble with in the ACT Science section is running out of time, particularly in the section with paragraphs. Often times, I read the passages to answer one question; then when a later question asks about similar things, I’ve already forgotten everything I had just read for that earlier question. To cut back on wasted time, and constant re-reading, turn paragraph information into symbolic information. Take notes, draw symbols, make charts, and use shorthands to note trends and information.  Doing this means that you don’t need to read the paragraphs twice, since you’ve already taken the information and translated it into little symbols, charts, figures, or anything you could understand!

Tip #3: The Questions Become More Difficult Within Each Passage

Questions should be easier towards the beginning of each passage and harder towards the last questions of each passage. For earlier questions, it’s very likely that even if you don’t understand what’s going on, you can probably pull the answer right off a chart. When you get to later questions, you probably have to do at least two or more steps of thinking to get the question right. These later questions will most likely be synthesis questions that require you to double check relationships among concepts. So when approaching the science section, don’t waste your time on earlier questions triple checking for synthesis issues. It’ll probably be very straightforward! But for later questions, pay attention to the details and be ready to match up different ideas to get to the answer.  If a later question seems ridiculously simple, you may have missed something.

Hope these strategies are helpful, and good luck on your ACT! For more tips and tricks on how to do better on the ACT, check out our blog here AND sign up for our awesome ACT prep course— it gives you full explanations to EVERY question in the official guide and will show you all these tips in action!