# 6 Tips to Master the Math Section of the ACT

If you’re taking the ACT for the first time, it can seem very overwhelming. Make sure you familiar yourself with the different sections that are on there, how many questions are in each section, and how long you have to complete each section. It’s a smart idea to implement some test-taking strategies for the Math part of the ACT so that you’ll perform better and help boost your confidence. The Math Section contains 60 questions and you’ll have 60 minutes to complete it, which narrows down to 1 minute per question. The test is designed to start with easier questions first and gradually get more difficult. Below are 6 tips to help students get a better overall score on the Math part of the ACT.

**1. Know what content areas that you fall weak in
**There are 6 main content areas on the math part of the ACT and they include Pre-Algebra (20-25%), Elementary Algebra (15-20%), Intermediate Algebra (15-20%), Coordinate Geometry (15-20%), Plane Geometry (20-25%), and Trigonometry (5-10%). There are some common areas that many students are not exposed to by the time they have to take the ACT. Some of these areas include complex numbers, roots of polynomials, conics, trigonometric identities, graphing trigonometric functions, and solving trigonometric equations. Make a list of the areas that you know that you are weak in so that you can spend extra time practicing and learning those topics.

**2. Don’t spend too much time on one given question
**Remember, when taking the Math section of the ACT, you have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions. Some questions will take more time and some will take less time. Don’t waste time by spending 7 or 8 minutes on one question! If you are stumped, come back to the question later but make sure that you make a note of the question that you are skipping. You can also eliminate incorrect answers by process of elimination. After reading the question, scan ALL answer choices and cross off the ones that you know definitely won’t work. Then, use your best educated guess to find the correct answer.

**3. Know your math formulas!
**There are many, many math formulas that you will need to memorize in order to be successful on the ACT. Make sure that you take the time to really study these, learn them and get them memorized. You don’t want to come to a simple question that involves a formula and get the answer wrong just because you couldn’t recall the formula. Make flash cards and quiz yourself weekly. Another great idea is to practice writing down the formulas a handful of times until they are completely memorized. Click the link to access our cheat sheet for the Math ACT Formulas!

**4. Be familiar with different ways of solving
**There are many different types of questions on the Math section of the ACT and each one can involve a unique approach. Below is a list of strategies that you might want to use to solve a particular problem.

- Use a formula
- Draw a picture
- Plug the answer choices in
- Eliminate wrong answer choices by process of elimination
- Create an equation

**5. Take practice tests and time yourself**

The best way to improve your score on the Math section of the ACT is to practice, practice, practice! Make sure you make time to take many practice tests. It’s very important that you mimic the environment of a real testing center so find a 60-minute interval that you can take the practice test and make sure that there are no distractions around. Use a timer to time yourself so you know what 60 minutes feels like and how many questions you are able to answer during that sitting. Keep your phone in a different room, turn off the TV, turn off all music and make sure that no one is around to interrupt you. Each time you take a practice test, you should hopefully get quicker at answering the questions.

**6. Review ALL of the mistakes you made on the practice tests
**After each practice test it’s extremely important to grade yourself. Make sure to review ALL of the questions that you missed so that you can see where your weaknesses are, what errors you made and why you made them. Was an answer wrong because you made a careless mistake within your work? Did you not understand what the question was asking? Did you not know that content of the question? Once you go back and figure out what errors you made, you’ll be that much more informed and prepared for the next practice test.

Take the time to really prepare yourself for the ACT and this can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the individual student. Seek out help from a professional if needed! Click here to find out more about our ACT Test Prep Packages, call us today at 847-682-6116, or send us an email at [email protected].

**Written by Sarah Kochan**

Contact us today to learn more about how our tutors can help your child improve their ACT scores!

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