ACT Science 1.4 Research Summary Passage
ACT Science: Research Summary Passage Drill 1, Problem 4. Which of the following is the control for this experiment?
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Here are your potential answers…
The question’s asking what the scientists used as a control.
No, not like a joystick. You know, a scientific control.
Let’s go back to Science 101 for a second.
The “control group” or “control” in a scientific experiment is a test sample
that is separate from the variable being tested. For example, if we’re developing a new plant
food and we wanted to analyze its effects, we’d grow two identical plants with water
and sun, and only test the food on one of them.
The water-only plant would be our “control group” that we could use to compare the
effect of our plant food on the other. That makes perfect sense.
To find things that stand out—in this case, the scent created by certain bee dances--
the scientists needed a control:
a sample of air that was not exposed to such delightful, albeit stinky, dancing.
The passage says figure A is a sample that was taken of air near the dance floor.
That’s where they’re looking for the variable scent, so that’s not the control.
The control would be the sample in figure B, which was taken somewhere else:
where there were honey and bees present, but no dancing.
Of the four possible answers, A is our match.
That’s A as in “Absolutely Adorable Appetite-Activating Articulation”