There comes a point where you begin to feel like you don’t know what to do to study for the ACT. Where do you start?!
Let’s talk about math here and you can also apply this information for studying for the other parts of the test…
So first the types of math tested on the ACT….
1. PreAlgebra/Elementary Algebra
PreAlgebra (2025%)

Basic operations using whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers

Place value

Square roots and approximations

The concept of exponents

Scientific notation

Factors

Ratio, proportion, and percent

Linear equations in one variable

Absolute value and ordering numbers by value

Elementary counting techniques and simple probability

Data collection, representation, and interpretation

Understanding simple descriptive statistics
Elementary Algebra (1520%)

Properties of exponents and square roots

Evaluation of algebraic expressions through substitution

Using variables to express functional relationships

Understanding algebraic operations

The solution of quadratic equations by factoring
2. Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry
Intermediate Algebra (1520%)

The quadratic formula

Rational and radical expressions

Absolute value equations and inequalities

Sequences and patterns

Systems of equations

Quadratic inequalities

Functions and modeling

Matrices

Roots of polynomials

Complex numbers
Coordinate Geometry (1520%)

Graphing and the relations between equations and graphs, including points, lines, polynomials, circles, and other curves

Graphing inequalities

Slope

Parallel and perpendicular lines

Distance

Midpoints

Conics
3. Plane Geometry/Trigonometry
Plane Geometry (2025%)

Properties and relations of plane figures, including angles and relations among perpendicular and parallel lines

Properties of circles, triangles, rectangles, parallelograms, and trapezoids

Transformations

The concept of proof and proof techniques

Volume

Applications of geometry to three dimensions
Trigonometry (510%)

Trigonometric relations in right triangles

Values and properties of trigonometric functions

Graphing trigonometric functions

Modeling using trigonometric functions

Use of trigonometric identities

Solving trigonometric equations
You can see there is a lot of information here, but what do you actually study? Do you need to study an entire course in trigonometry in order to get a high score on the ACT?!?!?! What about reviewing all 16 chapters of the Geometry course you took freshman year?!
The answer to these questions is NOOOOO!!!
In all honesty, you only need to study the pieces that will be on a test, and the things you don’t already know.
I know that seems logical, but for some reason I see a lot of students wasting time reviewing things they already know because it gives them this false sense of confidence. What you really need to zeroinon are the things you don’t know and use those to eliminate weaknesses.
So make flashcards of all questions you get wrong when you take a practice test and study those questions as often as possible. There are only so many types of questions on both the ACT and SAT. Once you go through enough sample test questions, you will start to see patterns and repeats of the same things over and over again. So familiarize yourself with the test and continue to review your past mistakes over and over resolving the flashcards for the correct answer. Once you know the card inside and out, then you can put it in a separate pile that you go through less often.
If you missed a question once, but learned it again and again, you won’t miss a similar question again when you see it on the ACT.