ACT science practice test 1

Directions: Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.

You are NOT permitted to use a calculator on this test.


Two ways to measure the quality of soil are bulk density and the soil organic matter test, SOM (a measure of the active organic content). High quality soil provides structure to plants and moves water and nutrients, so plants grow in larger quantities, leading to higher crop yields at harvest.

Bulk density is measured as the dry weight of a sample of soil divided by the volume of the sample. A bulk density measure above 1.33 g/cm3 negatively affects soil quality. Figure 1 shows the bulk density levels for 5 different years at Fields A and B.

Figure 1

Table 1 shows how soil quality varies with SOM. Table 2 shows the average SOM at the end of each of the 5 years.

Table 1
SOMSoil quality rating
<?0.25poor
0.25 to 0.50fair
0.51 to 0.75good
>?0.75excellent
Table 2
FieldAverage SOM
A0.89
B0.28

Figure 2 shows the total crop yield at each field at the end of the 5 years.

Figure 2

1. Which set of data best supports the claim that Field A has lower soil quality than Field B?

A. Figure 1
B. Figure 2
C. Table 1
D. Table 2

2. If 8 tons or fewer in crop yields were considered a failed harvest, in which year and in which field would there have been a failed harvest?

F. Field A in Year 1
G. Field A in Year 3
H. Field B in Year 4
J. Field B in Year 5

3. Suppose a new crop rotation for Field B included legumes and other deep-rooted and high-residue crops. The SOM of this field will most likely change in which of the following ways? The SOM will:

A. decrease, because soil quality is likely to increase.
B. decrease, because soil quality is likely to decrease.
C. increase, because soil quality is likely to increase.
D. increase, because soil quality is likely to decrease.

4. Based on Figures 1 and 2, consider the average bulk density and the average crop yields for Fields A and B over the study period. Which site had the lower average crop yield, and which site had the higher average bulk density?

Lower crop yield Higher bulk density

F. Field A Field A
G. Field B Field B
H. Field A Field B
J. Field B Field A

5. As soil quality improves, the number of earthworms increases. Students hypothesized that more earthworms would be found in Field B. Are the data presented in

Table 2 consistent with this hypothesis?

A. Yes; based on SOM, Field B had a soil quality rating of fair and Field A had a soil quality rating of poor.
B. Yes; based on SOM, Field B had a soil quality rating of excellent and Field A had a soil quality rating of fair.
C. No; based on SOM, Field B had a soil quality rating of poor and Field A had a soil quality rating of fair.
D. No; based on SOM, Field B had a soil quality rating of fair and Field A had a soil quality rating of excellent.

Ferric oxide (Fe2O3) is more commonly known as rust. This is produced in a reaction between iron, a common metal, and water, H2O.

Table 1 shows the amount of Fe2O3 produced over time from 15 g Fe submerged in different liquids: 100 mL distilled water, a salt solution made from dissolving 20 g of salt in 100 mL of distilled water, and a sugar solution made from dissolving 20 g of sugar in 100 mL of distilled water.

The distilled water trial was repeated four times, but for each trial, a total volume of 100 mL of water was buffered to different pH levels.

6. Based on

Table 1, if the amount of Fe2O3 produced on Day 9 had been measured for the salt solution, it would most likely have been:

F. less than 0.56 g.
G. between 0.59 g and 0.72 g.
H. between 1.23 g and 1.84 g.
J. greater than 1.84 g.

7. In the experiments shown in

Table 1 and

Figure 1, by measuring the rate at which Fe2O3 was formed every day, the experimenters could also measure the rate at which:

A. H2O was produced.
B. H2 was produced.
C. Fe was produced.
D. FeO was produced.

8. Consider the amount of Fe2O3 produced by the salt solution on Day 2. Based on

Table 1 and

Figure 1, the water buffered to pH = 10.0 produced approximately the same amount of Fe2O3 on which of the following days?

F. Day 1
G. Day 3
H. Day 6
J. Day 10

9. According to

Table 1, what was the amount of Fe2O3 produced by the sugar solution from the time the amount was measured on Day 6 until the time the amount was measured on Day 8?

A. 0.08 g
B. 0.11 g
C. 0.19 g
D. 0.30 g

10. Based on

Table 1, which graph best shows how the amount of Fe2O3 produced by the sugar solution changes over time?

F.
G.
H.
J.