The Physics Classroom ACT Test Center

Life is filled with tests. From the moment we're born to the moment we die, it seems that there is regularly someone surrounding us and giving us a test. They ask questions. They perform procedures. They probe. They try to figure out what we know and do not know, what we can and cannot do, so that in the end they can arrive at a final assessment of our physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being. Life is filled with tests.

A common visitor to The Physics Classroom website is the high school junior who is taking physics. For many of these high school juniors, the most important test that they will take this year is the ACT test. The results of this test will be reported to them, to their parents, to their school, and to their prospective colleges. The report will provide an assessment of how ready they are for college. Once the assessment process is over, there's not much more you can do to change the results. But before all the testing begins, there's much that you can do and should do. And that's where The Physics Classroom comes in. Let us help.

This section of the website contains about a dozen passages that resemble the types of passages found on the ACT test. Each passage includes questions that would be similar to those asked upon an ACT test. Additionally, an Answer Guide is available for each passage. The Answer Guide provides answers and detailed explanations for each question. This section of the website also includes information about the ACT Test, Practice and Preparation Tips, and Descriptions of Other Resources where you can get additional help. If you are not familiar with the ACT Test, then you should begin by reading about it before you start in on the passages. Compared to other tests that you're accustomed to taking, the ACT Test is quite different in its approach. To do well, it helps to know how it is different.

Finally, take your time here at the ACT Test Center. You're welcome to come back as often as you like and as regularly or irregularly as your schedule allows. Time spent preparing for the ACT is time well spent. Happy testing. We wish you well. 

About the ACT Test | ACT Test PreparationACT Tips | For Teachers | Other Resources

Use the passages below to assist in your preparation. The passages can be printed (if desired), completed, and then checked using the Answer Guides.
 

The Passages

Stopping Distance
Data Representation (5 Qs)

The passage uses a bar chart and a data table to present information regarding the variables that affect the stopping distance of an automobile. Information coordinates closely with Kinematics (Physics).

Coffee Filter Physics
Research Summaries (6 Qs)

This passage presents information regarding an experiment performed to investigate the effect of an object's mass upon its terminal velocity. Includes two graphs and a data table. Information coordinates closely with Newton's Law (Physics).

Maximum Range Explained
Data Representation (5 Qs)
This passage presents information using a complex graph and a data table in an effort to explain how the launch angle affects the range of a projectile. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Projectiles (Physics).
Collisions
Research Summaries (6 Qs)
This passage describes a student experiment performed to study the effect of the mass of two carts upon their post-collision velocity. Includes two complex data tables. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Momentum (Physics).
Energy on an Inclined Plane
Research Summaries (6 Qs)
This passage describes a student experiment performed to study the conservation of energy for a cart moving along an inclined plane. Includes a graph, an illustration and a data table. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Energy (Physics).
Heating Curve
Data Representations (5 Qs)
This passage uses a graph to present information regarding the phase change of a sample of matter. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Thermal Energy (Chemistry/Physics).
Mass on a Spring
Data Representations (5 Qs)
This passage uses two graphs to describe the motion of a mass vibrating up and down on the end of a spring. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Vibration and Waves (Physics).
Decibels, Phons, and Sones
Data Representations (5 Qs)
This passage uses a data table and two graphs to present information regarding three different measures of sound intensity and loudness. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Sound (Physics).
Sound of Music
Data Representations (5 Qs)
This passage uses two data tables and two graphs to present information regarding the production of sound by closed-end and open-end air columns. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Sound (Physics).
Is Cellphone Radiation Dangerous?
Conflicting Viewpoints (7 Qs)
This passage presents the evidence and reasoning of scientists on both sides of this controversial and modern issue regarding the potential hazards of electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellphones. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Light (Physics).
Depth of Field
Data Representations (5 Qs)
This passage uses two graphs, a figure and a complex data table to present information regarding the ability of cameras to focus on objects at varying distances. Information coordinates closely with the topic of Refraction and Lenses (Physics).


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