Worried about what you will encounter in the ACT math test? Do not panic! Learning ACT math tips and strategies will help you have the confidence you need on test day and get the best score.
In this article, join us to provide you with 10 effective tips for success in ACT Mathematics.
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1- Memorize all formulas and common Math facts
Memorize important equations and formulas such as the quadratic equation and the Pythagorean Theorem before the day of the exam. Even if ACT gives you some of them on the first page of the math test, you should remember all the important equations and formulas. Maintaining them will give you confidence in your problem-solving abilities and prevent you from wasting time and flipping through these problems and the first test page.
2- Manage your time wisely
With only 60 minutes for 60 questions, you do not have one minute for the ACT Math test, so take your time wisely.
How should you spend your time? It seems – 60 minutes for 60 questions is equal to 1 minute per question, right? However, some questions are more complex than others and require more time. How can you make sure you have enough time to finish all the questions and even review your answers?
As a general rule, the first 20 questions are easy, the next 20 questions are moderate, and the last 20 questions are difficult. Estimate about 30 seconds for each easy question, 1 minute for each intermediate question, and 1 minute and 30 seconds for each difficult question.
3- Write out your all problem-solving steps
Solve your problem with pencil and paper, and write down all the steps to get the answer. Writing down all the steps to solve a problem prevents simple mistakes. Common mistakes involve:
- Enter the wrong number into your calculator
- Answering x when you’ve been asked for 2x.
This pencil-and-paper approach also allows you to check if you have finished the test early and have a chance to review your answers.
4- Try plugging the answer choices back into the problem
If you get stuck, try entering the answer options again and see if one of them works. This trick does not always work, but if it does – your answer is there! When doing so, be sure to plug in all the answer options to make sure you did not make a mistake. Remember, this is something you have to do as a last resort – because it is very time-consuming, it is not a great first step to solving the problem.
5- Tackle word problems in pieces
Word problems come in many forms and test many math concepts, but if you remember these ACT math tips, you should be able to get started on most word problems.
Know the question. Read the problem in all the steps and underline the question. Divide the problem into pieces. Each problem has a lot of information: process each piece together and be careful of the opponent’s phrases.
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6- Skip over problems you can’t solve
If you do not make any progress on a problem after 10 seconds, circle it and move on. If you are confused by a tricky problem and only know one step you can take – for example, factoring, or combining like terms – take that step and see if it works for you. If not, circle the issue number and continue.
Fixing on a vexing problem wastes time and is extremely anxious, reducing your performance in the rest of the test.
7- Understand both the power and the danger of the calculator in the ACT Math
You can use the calculator in ACT Math, and in case of specific problems, this can be a lifeline. But the interesting thing about the calculator is that it is very easy to hit the wrong key and get a very easy answer. But, there is no wrong key in your mind. The more ACT math you can do in your mind, the fewer mistakes you will make on the test.
8- Know your properties
Knowing the properties of the number on the day of the test will save you time. The rules for the number properties include odds and evens, prime numbers, and the order of operations. You can select numbers to remind the rules.
9- Know your triangles
You need to know the rules 30-60-90 and 45-45-90. The ACT does not provide this information at the beginning of the math section, so be sure to memorize this information sooner. Also lookout for the Pythagorean triplets (3: 4: 5 and 5:12:13 and their multiples), these will save you time on the day of the test!
10- Keep a calm mind during the test
Stress is normal for test-takers. However, remind yourself that there is nothing to worry about. If the test is difficult, the same is true for other testers. The important thing is that you have done your best, and now unnecessary worry ruins everything. If you are anxious during the test session, you can use the test break techniques and pause the exam for a few moments. Take a deep breath, stay in this position for a few seconds, then exhale completely and repeat up to 3 times.