Science

Note:

  • Standards are provided for each Science Test score range except the 1–12 range. Students who score in the 1–12 range are most likely beginning to develop the knowledge and skills assessed in the other ranges.
  • Updates to the Standards in 2014 include:
    • edits for specificity, concision, and clarity
    • additions to include specific skills in multiple score ranges and to emphasize specific skills
  • Side-by-side comparisons of the 2014 ACT College and Career Readiness Standards and the 2005 ACT College Readiness Standards can be seen by selecting “View changes.” In the popup windows, each standard is identified by a strand abbreviation and number. For example, the first standard in Interpretation of Data (IOD) is IOD 201.

View or print the set of Science Standards (PDF, 7 pages)

  Score Range
13–15
Score Range
16–19
Score Range
20–23
Score Range
24–27
Score Range
28–32
Score Range
33–36
Interpretation
of Data (IOD)

IOD 201. Select one piece of data from a simple data presentation (e.g., a simple food web diagram)

IOD 202. Identify basic features of a table, graph, or diagram (e.g., units of measurement)

IOD 203. Find basic information in text that describes a simple data presentation

IOD 301. Select two or more pieces of data from a simple data presentation

IOD 302. Understand basic scientific terminology

IOD 303. Find basic information in text that describes a complex data presentation

IOD 304. Determine how the values of variables change as the value of another variable changes in a simple data presentation

IOD 401. Select data from a complex data presentation (e.g., a phase diagram)

IOD 402. Compare or combine data from a simple data presentation (e.g., order or sum data from a table)

IOD 403. Translate information into a table, graph, or diagram

IOD 404. Perform a simple interpolation or simple extrapolation using data in a table or graph

IOD 501. Compare or combine data from two or more simple data presentations (e.g., categorize data from a table using a scale from another table)

IOD 502. Compare or combine data from a complex data presentation

IOD 503. Determine how the values of variables change as the value of another variable changes in a complex data presentation

IOD 504. Determine and/or use a simple (e.g., linear) mathematical relationship that exists between data

IOD 505. Analyze presented information when given new, simple information

IOD 601. Compare or combine data from a simple data presentation with data from a complex data presentation

IOD 602. Determine and/or use a complex (e.g., nonlinear) mathematical relationship that exists between data

IOD 603. Perform a complex interpolation or complex extrapolation using data in a table or graph

IOD 701. Compare or combine data from two or more complex data presentations

IOD 702. Analyze presented information when given new, complex information

Scientific Investigation (SIN)

SIN 201. Find basic information in text that describes a simple experiment

SIN 202. Understand the tools and functions of tools used in a simple experiment

SIN 301. Understand the methods used in a simple experiment

SIN 302. Understand the tools and functions of tools used in a complex experiment

SIN 303. Find basic information in text that describes a complex experiment

SIN 401. Understand a simple experimental design

SIN 402. Understand the methods used in a complex experiment

SIN 403. Identify a control in an experiment

SIN 404. Identify similarities and differences between experiments

SIN 405. Determine which experiments utilized a given tool, method, or aspect of design

SIN 501. Understand a complex experimental design

SIN 502. Predict the results of an additional trial or measurement in an experiment

SIN 503. Determine the experimental conditions that would produce specified results

SIN 601. Determine the hypothesis for an experiment

SIN 602. Determine an alternate method for testing a hypothesis

SIN 701. Understand precision and accuracy issues

SIN 702. Predict the effects of modifying the design or methods of an experiment

SIN 703. Determine which additional trial or experiment could be performed to enhance or evaluate experimental results

Evaluation of Models, Inferences, and Experimental Results (EMI)

EMI 201. Find basic information in a model (conceptual)

EMI 301. Identify implications in a model

EMI 302. Determine which models present certain basic information

EMI 401. Determine which simple hypothesis, prediction, or conclusion is, or is not, consistent with a data presentation, model, or piece of information in text

EMI 402. Identify key assumptions in a model

EMI 403. Determine which models imply certain information

EMI 404. Identify similarities and differences between models

EMI 501. Determine which simple hypothesis, prediction, or conclusion is, or is not, consistent with two or more data presentations, models, and/or pieces of information in text

EMI 502. Determine whether presented information, or new information, supports or contradicts a simple hypothesis or conclusion, and why

EMI 503. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of models

EMI 504. Determine which models are supported or weakened by new information

EMI 505. Determine which experimental results or models support or contradict a hypothesis, prediction, or conclusion

EMI 601. Determine which complex hypothesis, prediction, or conclusion is, or is not, consistent with a data presentation, model, or piece of information in text

EMI 602. Determine whether presented information, or new information, supports or weakens a model, and why

EMI 603. Use new information to make a prediction based on a model

EMI 701. Determine which complex hypothesis, prediction, or conclusion is, or is not, consistent with two or more data presentations, models, and/or pieces of information in text

EMI 702. Determine whether presented information, or new information, supports or contradicts a complex hypothesis or conclusion, and why

Ideas for Progress
Score Range 1–12
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 13–15
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 16–19
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 20–23
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 24–27
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 28–32
 

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ACT College and Career Readiness Standards for Science are measured in rich and authentic contexts based on science content that students encounter in science courses. This content includes:

Life Science/Biology

  • Animal behavior
  • Animal development and growth
  • Body systems
  • Cell structure and processes
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Homeostasis
  • Life cycles
  • Molecular basis of heredity
  • Origin of life
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant development, growth, structure
  • Populations
  • Taxonomy

Physical Science/Chemistry, Physics

  • Atomic structure
  • Chemical bonding, equations, nomenclature, reactions
  • Electrical circuits
  • Elements, compounds, mixtures
  • Force and motion
  • Gravitation
  • Heat and work
  • Kinetic and potential energy
  • Magnetism
  • Momentum
  • The periodic table
  • Properties of solutions
  • Sound and light
  • States, classes, and properties of matter
  • Waves

Earth and Space Science

  • Earthquakes and volcanoes
  • Earth’s atmosphere
  • Earth’s resources
  • Fossils and geologic time
  • Geochemical cycles
  • Groundwater
  • Lakes, rivers, oceans
  • Mass movements
  • Plate tectonics
  • Rocks, minerals
  • Solar system
  • Stars, galaxies, and the universe
  • Water cycle
  • Weather and climate
  • Weathering and erosion