How to Improve your ACT Math Score

September 02, 2016

The next ACT test date is only 2.5 weeks away. If you’ve registered to take the exam and still need help with the Math section, you’re in luck!

 

 

The ACT Math section has 60 questions in 60 minutes. You have exactly 1 minute to answer each question, which are all multiple choice with 5 answer choices. You get 1 point for every correct answer and 0 points for every incorrect or skipped answer. There is no penalty for guessing if you’re running out of time, or don’t know the answer.

So, with this structure, how can you make sure you do the best with the knowledge you have and adapt a strategy that will ensure the highest scores?

1. Process of Elimination

Every question in this section is a multiple choice question. That means the correct answer is there on the page in front of you. The more you can narrow down your options, the better your chances are of getting the correct one.

If you can eliminate 4 of the answers, boom - you’ve got the right one! If you can only eliminate 3, you now have a 50-50 guess. Go with your gut, because that’s likely the educated guess. If you can’t eliminate any of them at all, just guess! Remember, there’s no penalty. When you do guess, be systematic about it and stick to your favorite letter you always go with.

2. Don’t be Tempted

The ACT is designed to trick you. There are some questions that will be straightforward, while others will disguise themselves as so, but actually require an additional step. Don’t fall into the trap when it’s a slightly more difficult question - double check and make sure you know what question you’re trying to answer.

3. Find Shortcuts

You’re not allowed a calculator on the ACT, so the math will never be tediously difficult to solve. Read the question. If it involves fractions, or scary looking variables and numbers, see how you can use that information to your advantage. The ACT wants you to find these shortcuts and are designed for you to find.

4. Approximation

Ball park the numbers. If you know the answer has to be positive, use this to eliminate any negative answers. Or you can work backwards. Use the second or fourth option, which is usually the second smallest or the second largest answer to see if your answer makes sense. From there, you can eliminate the answers below it or above those answer choices.

Need help studying for the ACT? Use Green Test Prep, an online SAT prep platform, to help improve your score.

Anthony-James Green, called “America’s Top SAT Tutor” by Business Insider, is renowned as the best SAT and ACT tutor in the industry. After working with over 450 students one-on-one, and thousands more through Green Test Prep, his online SAT and ACT program, Green has helped to raise students’ scores by an average of 346+ points on the SAT and 4.6+ points on the ACT. His work has been featured everywhere from The New York Times and CNN to FOX Business and Good Morning America. Learn more about Anthony.



Browse Successful Application Files

StanfordBaeAre…
Stanford ‘20


Accepted to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCSD, UCLA, UC Davis

I am a Frosh at Stanford studying studying engineering (computer science or other types) with a (possible) minor in the humanities. Go Trees!!!
ltan98
Fordham ‘20


Accepted to American, Fordham, Skidmore, Syracuse, UC Irvine, UCSB

Hi there! I went to an American school in Hong Kong from K-12 and will be starting my freshman year at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in the fall. If you're interested in theater and come from overseas, I would be of particular help to you!
lmelcher
Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Rice, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSC, USC

Hey! I'm a John Jay Scholar at Columbia, and I'm from Los Angeles. I'm planning to major in Art History and do ballet and theater. Hope I can help!
welcometohel
Rice ‘18


Accepted to UNC, Amherst, Northwestern, Case, Illinois, Wisconsin, Miami, Rice

I'm super cool and you should come to Rice

New Posts

Common App Writing Prompt #5 (2018-2019): Personal Growth
Common App Writing Prompt #5 (2018-2019): Personal Growth
December 05, 2018

The Common Application asks students to choose from 7 essay prompts, each asking for a different type of essay. Prompt #5, which was the most popular prompt amongst applicants from last season, focuses on personal growth. Read...

Dartmouth College 2018-2019 Supplemental Essay Prompts
Dartmouth College 2018-2019 Supplemental Essay Prompts
September 17, 2018

Drafted your personal statement and ready to get started on your supplemental essays? Here are the supplemental essay prompts for Dartmouth College.Dartmouth College requires two additional pieces of writing on top of the Common...

What You Need to Know about Athletic Scholarships
What You Need to Know about Athletic Scholarships
September 14, 2018

For many families, the only way to afford a college education is for their student to receive some financial aid. An athletic scholarship is one way that can help lower the price. Here’s what...

Load More Posts