Despite its name, the ACT Science Test does not require an extensive scientific background. Most of the questions actually test your reading comprehension knowledge and the ability to interpret charts and graphs. While the passages will define and describe any involved scientific concepts, familiarity with the terms and ideas may help you from getting bogged down in the scientific terminology.
Occasionally, questions may require knowledge of scientific information that is not explicitly stated in the passage. Below are some topics that may be helpful to review before the ACT Science Test.
The classification of organisms on the basis of shared characteristics.
Understand how to read taxonomic charts and cladograms.
Cells and DNA
The building blocks of living things.
Groups of organs that work together to perform important functions in the bodies of organisms.
Know the basic function of the different systems and the organs in those systems.
The study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics.
Chemical Formulas and Equations
Chemical formulas show the ratios of different elements in a compound. Chemical equations are the symbolic form of a chemical reaction.
States of Matter
One of the distinct forms that matter can exist in - solid, liquid, gas, or plasma.
Atoms - The building blocks of matter.
pH and Solutions
A solution is a homogenous mixture of two or more substances. The pH of a substance represents how acidic it is.
Density is the amount of mass per unit of volume and is found by dividing total mass by total volume.
Energy is the capacity for doing work.
Velocity is speed in a given direction. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity per unit of time.
Circuits allow electricity to do work by moving from a high voltage to a low voltage.
In a science experiment, the independent variable is the variable that is purposely changed in order to observe a change in the dependent variable.
In a science experiment, the dependent variable is what you measure. It demonstrates the effect of the independent variable.
A proposed explanation based on a limited amount of evidence - an educated guess about how the experiment will turn out.
In a science experiment, the controls are everything that is kept constant in order to accurately observe any impac the independent variable has on the outcome (dependent variable).