List of Topics on the ACT Science Section
- classifications: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Suborder, Animal Families, Genus, Species
- human anatomical systems: skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and the reproductive system
- eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms: eukaryotic cells have a membrane-bound nucleus and prokaryotic cells do not. (knowing their parts – ribosomes, mitochondria, etc – would also be helpful)
- photosynthesis: how plants transform light into energy
- pollination: transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma
- metamorphosis stages: changing from egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
- genetics (allele, genes, chromosomes, X and Y chromosomes)
- proteins: large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body
- DNA: double-stranded helix held together by weak hydrogen bonds between purine-pyrimidine nucleotide base pairs: adenine (A) paired with thymine (T), and guanine (G) paired with cytosine (C).
- RNA: RNA is most often single-stranded unlike DNA
- genotype: unique sequence of DNA
- phenotype: detectable expression of this genotype
- osmosis: movement of liquid through a semipermeable memberane
- dominant traits: the inheritance of traits that are typically passed vertically from parent to child
- recessive traits: the alleles of the trait-causing gene are the same, and both (recessive) alleles must be present to express the trait
- also know about the process of crossing over of dominant and recessive alleles
- mitosis and meiosis: Mitosis results in two identical daughter cells, whereas meiosis results in four sex cells. (mainly know the differences between then)
- cellular division phases: prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase
- understanding (and balancing) chemical equations and reactions: shows the starting compound(s)—the reactants—on the left and the final compound(s)—the products—on the right, separated by an arrow.
- atom: particle of matter that uniquely defines a chemical element
- isotopes: members of a family of an element that all have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons
- polarity: an entity contains two distinct and opposite poles that can either attract or repel each other
- radiation: emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium
Earth and Space
- metamorphism: state change. (typically in rocks) due to temperature, pressure, or chemicals
- layers of earth: the crust, the mantle and the core
- terrestrial planet/gas giants: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Other Science Terms
- independent variable: a variable (often denoted by x ) whose variation does not depend on that of another.
- dependent variable: a variable that changes based on changes of the independent variable
- endothermic: accompanied by the absorption of heat or an animal capable of regulating either own heat
- exothermic: accompanied by the release of heat
- ectothermic: animals that are unable to regulate their own internal body temperature
All in all, if you study all these terms and know them well, then you will have an easier time understanding the passages on the Science portion of the ACT Exam. If you don’t understand any of the terms, you can research them more on google or reach out to a tutor to help you understand them further.