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ACT science prep books

act high school science books curriculum

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#1 tricia


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Posted 01 January 2018 - 08:48 PM

Does anyone have any good ideas on some really good science curriculum or living books or even, heaven forbid, a boring text book with which my 17 can peruse in order to prepare for the ACT?  We have already done all of the Master Books and we have apologia books as well.  Still, the practice ACT tests are throwing her off.  We would really appreciate any and all suggestions as she is getting frustrated in the area of science.




#2 wapiti


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Posted 01 January 2018 - 08:59 PM

I bought these based on recommendations I had read, but dd hasn't looked at them yet:

For the Love of ACT Science https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2018 https://www.amazon.c...3?ie=UTF8&psc=1


(I was tempted to wrap them as Christmas presents as a joke, but it wouldn't have gone over very well lol)

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#3 tricia


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Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:11 PM

Thank you.  I'll look into these!




#4 Corraleno


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Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:18 PM

The science section of the ACT is really measuring how well you can read charts and graphs and extract information, so studying random science texts won't be as effective as prep books that teach test-taking strategies (how to approach the problems, how to eliminate wrong answers right away, etc.) Any ACT prep book would work for that, although DS found the Official ACT Prep Guide to be the most useful.

ETA: Another factor that can significantly help with science scores is lots of timed practice tests under realistic conditions. Since science is the last section on the test, stamina can be a significant issue. I know that the first time DS took the ACT, he was just completely fried by the time he got to science and he didn't come close to finishing it (he was having to read and reread everything multiple times, and just really struggled to stay focused). After a couple of months of focused test prep, including several timed practice tests, he raised his science score to a 33.

Edited by Corraleno, 01 January 2018 - 09:24 PM.

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#5 Julie of KY

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:49 PM

I agree with using ACT science specific materials. The science section of the ACT doesn't so much test your base science knowledge, but how well you can read scientific passages and interpret data and charts.


The reading, vocabulary, data analysis or chart reading could all throw her off.

#6 RootAnn


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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:41 AM

DH actually gave "For Love of ACT Science" to dd for Christmas (part of other gifts). Yep, we're cruel!

I worked through most of it myself since Christmas and really liked it. I have to force myself to follow their method because I always want to read everything and that isn't at all their tactic because time is so limited. It really helps to get through the test. I took a real Science ACT practice test yesterday and did well (one misread question, one misunderstood the answers but I knew something was wrong and didn't go back to check it even though I had 10 min left, and one outside info question I didn't know).

Edited by RootAnn, 02 January 2018 - 06:41 AM.

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#7 katilac


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Posted 03 January 2018 - 10:57 AM

I highly recommend the Magnet Man videos on youtube. I know several students, including mine, who have raised their science score significantly after working through them. 



You will need to print this specific practice test: http://bestactprep.o...f-2007-2008.pdf


I agree that timed practice tests are important, possibly more important than actual test prep. Make sure at least some of the practice tests simulate ACT conditions as much as possible (wake up at the time you'll need to wake up for actual test, get dressed and leave the house, take the practice test at a library, follow all the rules regarding breaks). 

#8 Kendall


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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:00 PM

For the Love of ACT Science.


Though there are very few questions for which the student needs outside science knowledge, but the more comfortable they are with science topics the easier it can be. My daughter definitely does better on the passages that are less 'foreign' sounding to her. But I'm not sure how that can be done in a prep setting, just accomplished in overall science reading over the years.  Someone with stronger reading skills overall will likely do better even without much science background. 


One of the best prep methods for all the sections is doing real ACT tests and going over every answer. 


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