ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled Saved to Favorites.
Articles / Preparing for College / Strategies for the ACT Math Test

June 1, 2018

Strategies for the ACT Math Test

Strategies for the ACT Math Test
Adobe Stock

The ACT Math Test is comprised of 60 multiple choice questions and you will have 60 minutes to complete it.

A typical ACT Math Test includes:


33 Algebra Questions:

- 14 pre-algebra questions covering math vocabulary, basic number theory and manipulation of fractions and decimals.

- 10 elementary algebra questions covering inequalities, linear equations, ratios, percentages and averages.

- Nine intermediate algebra questions covering exponents, roots, simultaneous equations, matrices and quadratic equations.

23 Geometry Questions:

- 14 plane geometry questions based on angles, lengths, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, perimeter, area and volume.

- Nine coordinate geometry questions based on slope, distance, midpoint, parallel and perpendicular lines, and graphing.

Four Trigonometry Questions:

- Four questions based on basic sine, cosine and tangent functions, trig identities and graphing.

Calculators are allowed on the ACT. Your calculator cannot have a QWERTY keyboard, like a TI-95, but you can and should use a scientific or graphing calculator. You want your calculator to be able to use parentheses, graph simple functions and convert fractions to decimals.

The questions on the ACT Math Test are in order from easiest to hardest, but you should skip any questions that you know you can't answer right away — circle them and come back to them later.

Understand Ballparking

You can use process of elimination on Math Test answer choices by crossing out answers that are way out of the ballpark of the question. At The Princeton Review, we call this strategy “ballparking." For example, if the question asks you to calculate a percentage that is less than 100, you can cross out any answer choice that is greater than the integer provided in the question. If all the numbers in a question are odd, it's highly unlikely that the answer will be an even multiple of ten.

Step by Step

Break complicated math problems into bite-sized pieces. Write down what you're doing after each step and check to see if you can eliminate any wrong answers before you've finished solving the problem. This is especially helpful on intermediate algebra questions.

Stay Calm!

Don't let the time limit stress you out or you'll make careless mistakes. A solid prep plan and plenty of practice will help you conquer the big day with confidence.

Tags

ACT

Written by

Rob Franek

Rob Franek

College Admissions and Test Prep Expert

More on Preparing for College

pexels-miles-hardacre-2404371.jpg
Preparing for College

Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Stressful Times

How many adjectives can you think of to describe life since COVID-19 ushered us into this “new abnormal”?

Anguishing, demanding, d…

AdobeStock_251588845 (1).jpeg
Preparing for College

Alternatives to College: Exploring Other Routes

We don’t need to belabor the point that this generation of teens is tired, depressed, and burnt out. You already know that. If yo…

National Merit Scholarships: Top Questions Answered
Preparing for College

National Merit Scholarships: Top Questions Answered

The National Merit Scholarship Program began in 1955 as a way to recognize and provide scholarships to exceptional high-school st…

Will a 208 Qualify Me for a National Merit Scholarship?
Preparing for College

Will a 208 Qualify Me for a National Merit Scholarship?

Question: I got a 208 on my PSAT. Is that score high enough to qualify me for National Merit Scholarships in Illinois?

As you may …

Girl_holding_textbooks.jpg
Preparing for College

AP or IB: Which Do Colleges Prefer?

Some high schools offer both AP and IB classes. Having the option to choose is great, but knowing which classes to take can leave…

A-Z College Forums

Browse the College Forums
C1E9D4E7-C4C9-4B28-8946-8F441A6D62B3

Find Your Best Fit

Find your best fit college and track your favorite colleges.