Enemies as Friends
Using ACT Science Answers Against Themselves
Now you know how to use the questions to figure out which passages you should pay attention to in the ACT Science section. This is a good start, but it gets even more glorious. Once you learn to focus on the questions, the next step is to focus on the answers.
The answers to ACT science questions will tell you exactly what to look for! If you rely on the answer choices, you don’t need to figure out anything!
For instance, let’s say a question asks you this:
What does Figure 1 suggest about cold air’s effects on the rate of chemical respiration in a Glunkerheimer machine?
Well – we’re off to a good start. We already know to look at Figure 1, instead of elsewhere. We also know that we’re looking at cold air, chemical respiration rate, and the Glunkerheimer machine. We’re focused, and we know where we should be. But there’s a small problem: you don’t know anything about Glunkerheimer machines or cold air respiration! How the heck are you supposed to figure this out? What is the answer even supposed to look like? How do you read Figure 1? What a nightmare, right?
Unless, of course, you let the answers tell you precisely what you need to be looking for….
Here’s what you might see:
A) Jardio Flippitation increases by 200 Flubbers in the presence of cold air
B) Jardio Flippitation decreases by 200 Flubbers in the presence of cold air
C) Wumper Flippitation increases by 200 Flubbers in the presence of cold air
D) Jardio Flippitation is not affected by cold air
You might have absolutely no idea what any of this stuff means (and in case it isn’t obvious by now, I’m making all of this stuff up). But it doesn’t matter! You basically just let the question answer itself! You know EXACTLY what to do now!
Think about it: you now know to look at Figure 1. You know you’re paying attention to Jardio Flippitation and Wumper Flippitation only.
So you look at Figure 1, and you see that one axis is air temperature, and the other axis is Jardio Flippitation. Guess what? You can automatically kill answer C.
Then, you see that as the air gets colder, Jardio Flippitation increases.
Well, that means that answer D is out right away.
Also, answer B is gone. When the air gets colder, Jardio Flippitation increases. Therefore, answer A is the only answer that makes sense anymore!
Every ACT science question is multiple choice. Therefore, you don’t need to actually ANSWER anything – you just need to KILL the three answers that can’t possibly work. Who cares if you “understand” the last remaining answer?
Do you know what a Glunkerheimer machine is? Do you know what a Flubber is? Do you know what Jardio Flippitation is? WHO CARES!? You still know that A is the only answer that can work! Therefore, it must be the right answer!
The sooner you start thinking at this level (hyper-strategically, and focusing only on the information you need to), you’re going to start crushing the ACT science section. Suddenly, you’re not going to be intimidated by the material on the test because you’re going to realize that finding the right answer has nothing to do with understanding the material. And you’re not going to be wasting time on the material, because you’re only going to be focusing on the stuff you need.
From now on, you’re going to:
1) Skip all the passages and go right into the questions.
2) Use the questions to figure out what you should focus on (and ignore the rest)
3) Use the answer choices to further figure out what you should focus on, what your answer will look like, and ignore everything else.
If you stopped reading right now and incorporated these habits into your ACT science routine, I guarantee that you’d already see great score improvements on the ACT science section overnight. But it gets even better.
For the next big ACT science tip, let’s move along to the next section that deals with avoiding errors: