Karen Berlin Ishii, One-to-One Test Prep for the SAT and ACT - in NYC and via Skype
If you are in 11th grade or below in the fall of 2015 and will be taking the ACT or SAT anytime after January 2016, this question is less critical, as the redesigned SAT – which will roll out in March 2016 –includes many of the elements of science that are already on the ACT, but sprinkled throughout the test in every section. On the ACT, however, the science-related questions are packaged in a single test that is hard primarily because of the time pressure: You have about 4 minutes to read and do all the questions for each of 6-7 passages. It's not enough time. (Note: If you do get extra time accomodations due to learning difference or disability, you might benefit from taking this test. Since time pressure is what makes the test hard, you may find yourself scoring unexpectedly high with more time to complete it.)
The best way to determine whether weakness in science will handicap your score on the ACT is to take a practice test in both ACT and the SAT, using the version of the SAT that will be given when you are going to take the real thing. The ACT has a new practice exam with the new style essay on their website, and three official practice tests for the redesigned SAT are available for download from the College Board website. Take the tests and compare your achievement, considering the following factors in making your choice:
1) On which test did I score higher?
2) On which test am I likely to improve the most with practice?
3) For which test am I more williing to put in the hours to improve my score?
In the end, weakness in science may not disqualify you from choosing the ACT as your preferred test.