Worried about what you’ll face on the ACT Math Test? Don’t panic! Learn the strategies you need to feel confident on test day and get a great score.

ACT Math tips

1. Do a thorough ACT math review

Because the test is so predictable, the best way to prepare for the ACT math section is with a complete review of question types and math concepts. Take a look at our ACT math overview for the types of math problems you can expect.

2. What is your idea of an “easy” question?

Hard questions take a long time. Easy ones take a short time. Just because questions on the Math Test appear in order of difficulty (meaning easy questions are grouped the beginning with harder questions at the end) doesn’t mean you need to do it in ACT’s order. You’ll have a lot easier time drawing your own road map for this test than letting ACT guide you.

3. Create a "Personal Order of Difficulty"

Use your Personal Order of Difficulty to determine if a question is for Now, Later, or Never.

  • Now: Do the problems you’re sure you can do quickly and accurately.
  • Later: If a problem looks time consuming, save it for later. Do the Nows first.
  • Never: Sometimes it’s better to just walk away. If a problem has you totally confused, guess, and move on.

4. Tackle word problems in pieces.

Word problems look a lot of different ways and test a lot of different math concepts, but if you keep these ACT math tips in mind, you should be able to get started on most word problems.

  1. Know the question. Read the problem all the way through and underline the question.
  2. Let the answers help . Look for clues on how to solve.
  3. Break the problem into bite-sized pieces . Every problem has lots of information: Process each piece one at a time and be careful of tricky phrasing.

5. Stumped? Guess and move on.

Never leave any blanks! Even if you don’t “work” a problem you should always answer it, even if you have to guess. You won’t lose points if you get the answer wrong, but you could gain points if you get it right! Learn more ACT strategies for tricky questions.

6. Put these math strategies to the test

Try these ACT practice questions or take a free ACT practice test with us in person on online. 


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