Whether you’re already a skilled mathematician or it simply isn’t your forte, you can do a lot to help yourself on the ACT math section. A good knowledge base is essential to sure, but some preparation and the right tips can help you to improve your score on this portion of the exam. Here’s what you need to know.
Be Clear on What’s Being Asked
Being presented with a wide variety of numbers and variables can have a distracting effect. Sometimes, you may even start answering the question without getting the sense of what they’re even asking. But if you see a prompt like “Solve for…” then you need to be very clear about what it is you’re searching for.
This is something to keep in mind especially as you practice on sample ACT tests. Get in the habit of looking for the actual question. If you notice yourself veering off course, stop yourself and look at the question again. What is being asked? What do you have to solve? What’s the most direct path to that answer?
Eliminate the “Red Flag” Responses
Sometimes, assuming the wrong thing (such as working with a triangle vs a rectangle) will lead you down the wrong path. If you notice one of the multiple-choice answers that reflects what you know to be an incorrect path, you should have no problem eliminating it.
Be wary about eliminating an answer too quickly, but as soon as you know one answer can’t be true, you can transition your focus to the others.
Remember the Context
When you focus on a specific question for too long, it can be easy to forget the context in which it appears. Do you remember what you’re supposed to be searching for? Do you remember the strategies that the current section wants you to utilize? If so, you’ll have a far better chance of arriving at the right answer. Context matters, even when it comes to math, because context will give you the best hints for developing the strategy to uncover the right answer.
Look for Clues
If you know that the answer is going to be an odd number, is it even worth considering the even number options? If there’s only one odd number in the multiple choices and you know for a fact that the answer has to be an odd number, then you have your answer.
These little clues can sometimes be “shortcuts” to finding the correct answer. But make sure you’re still as thorough as possible as you take your sample tests. You can even mark these kinds of questions for review later if you have extra time.
Work With An ACT Tutor
Want more ACT math help? Consider working with an ACT prep tutor. They’ll help you discover more tips and tricks like these to help you improve your score.