Here we will discuss ACT Math prep tips and strategies that will help you maximize your score and performance on the ACT Math test. Remember, because the ACT is a timed test, strategy is just as important as your knowledge of the content!

It is possible to increase your ACT score by several points simply by taking the ACT in a different way.

General ACT Math Prep Tips

Here are five ACT Math prep tips that will help you on the ACT Math test:

  1. The ACT Math test goes generally from easier to harder, although some easier questions will also be scattered into the late part of the test. This ordering of the questions means two things: First, you want to spend less time on the earlier questions to give yourself more time for the mor difficult questions later in the test. Second, you want to make sure you get as many of the earlier questions correct as you can.
  2. Learn how to use your graphing calculator well. Make sure you know how to use the “Fraction” function and the “Graphing” function, and know where the different math concept buttons are located (exponent, square root, etc.).
  3. Use the diagrams to your advantage. They are generally drawn to scale, although you should be careful about angles.
  4. Write in your test booklet. A lot. Draw diagrams, label diagrams, write out equations, etc. Visualizing the math problems will be very helpful in answering them.
  5. Use substitution from the answer choices if you are stuck or if this will save time.

ACT math prep

ACT Math Prep Tips – Timing for the ACT Math Test

The ACT Math test is 60 minutes long, so you should spend no more than 1 minute for each question. However, as mentioned earlier, you should seek to spend less time on the earlier, easier questions.

The ACT Math test is more rushed than the ACT English test, but if you know your math concepts, you may finish earlier. In any case, make sure you do not make silly mistakes, especially during the earlier part of the test.

ACT Math Prep Tips – In what order should I do the questions?

You should not do all of the ACT Math questions in order. You will generally go in order, but you will want to skip questions that either you do not know how to do at first or you know will take a long time to do (over a minute).

ACT Math Prep Tips – Skipping/Marking Questions

Skipping Questions

Skip two kinds of questions: 1) Questions you do not know how to do at first, and 2) Questions you know will take a long time to do (over a minute). Write the numbers of these questions on the first page of the Math test.

You will come back to these questions after you complete the rest of the test, both to give yourself more time to work on them and to make sure you are able to complete the test.


Marking Questions

Mark down the numbers of questions you are unsure about. Write these numbers on the first page of the Math test (separate from the questions you skipped). Come back and check over these questions after you complete all of the questions on the test.

ACT Math Prep Tips – Bubbling

Bubble two pages at a time (left and right pages). This will help you maintain focus and flow throughout the test, as well as help you avoid bubbling mistakes.

When you hear the five minute warning, bubble one question at a time to make sure you are able to bubble every question.

ACT Math Prep Tips – Foundations to Work on before Taking the ACT Math Test: Math Concepts

ACT Math Concepts

ACT math prep
Because the ACT Math test covers so many different math concepts it is vitally important that you learn them well before you take the ACT Math test. To learn these math concepts well, you can do two things: 1) Work hard in your math classes in high school, and 2) Study specifically the concepts you are not skilled at.

A list of the math concepts that will show up on the ACT can be found at the ACT Math Test: Format and Content Overview page.