ACT Science Practice Test 96

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.


A group of students conducted several experiments using a variety of nonstick cookware, a spring scale, and several objects with different mass. Their goal was to determine which brand of cookware products had the best nonstick surface by measuring the coefficient of static friction, which is a measure of how resistant a stationary object is to movement.

Experiment 1

A student connected the spring scale to a weighted object that was placed inside a piece of nonstick cookware as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

The students planned to calculate the coefficient of static friction by determining the force required to disturb an object from rest. During the experiment, one student anchored the nonstick cookware by holding tightly to the handle while the other student attached a weighted, smooth steel object to the spring scale. The student pulled on the spring until the object began to move. A third student recorded the force in newtons, N, indicated on the spring scale at the moment the object began to move across the nonstick surface.

This procedure was repeated for 3 different brands of cookware; each brand of cookware was tested with various weighted objects. The coefficient of static friction was calculated and the results are shown in Table 1.

Experiment 2

The students performed an experiment similar to Experiment 1, except three different brands of cooking spray were applied to the same cookware surface before the weights were put in place. The results are shown in Table 2.

1. The results of the 2 experiments support the conclusion that as the mass of an object increases, the average force required to move it from rest generally:

F. decreases.
G. increases.
H. varies, with no particular trend.
J. remains constant.

2. If Experiment 1 was repeated for Brand B cookware with a 200 gram object, the average force needed to disturb the object from rest would be closest to:

A. 0.03 N.
B. 0.06 N.
C. 0.12 N.
D. 0.18 N.

3. Based on the results of Experiments 1 and 2, which of the following combinations would result in the surface with the least coefficient of static friction?

F. Cookware brand A and cooking spray brand X.
G. Cookware brand B and cooking spray brand Y.
H. Cookware brand C and cooking spray brand Y.
J. Cookware brand C and cooking spray brand Z.

4. Which brand(s) of cooking spray was/were tested with only 2 different objects in Experiment 2?

A. Brand Y only.
B. Brand Z only.
C. Brands X and Y only.
D. Brands X and Z only.

5. According to the passage, for the students to accurately measure the coefficient of static friction, which force would have to be overcome?

F. The weight of the object.
G. The force between the spring scale and the object.
H. The force of applying the cooking spray to the surface.
J. The force required to disturb the object from rest.

6. The students' instructor gave them one piece of nonstick cookware and asked them to identify the brand. The students repeated the procedures followed in Experiment 1 and obtained average forces of 0.088 N for the 150 gram object and 0.149 N for the 250 gram object. Which of the following brands would most likely have produced these results?

A. Brand B only.
B. Brand C only.
C. Brand A and C only.
D. Brand B and C only.