Math and Science Testing Tips:
Use these time-tested tips to help bump up your scores on these sections of the ACT.
This section will contain algebra, geometry, and trigonometry questions that test not only your math skills but also your ability to answer the question.
Duration: 60 minutes for 60 multiple-choice questions that increase in difficulty
Strategy #1: Use your calculator to multiply decimals and large number calculations.
Strategy #2: Save time and mental energy by filling in the answer sheet bubbles all at once—just mark your booklet as you work.
Strategy #3: Underline the actual question you need to answer—easy problems can be missed if you solve for x instead of x+y (tricky stuff!).
Strategy #4: Know your math formulas—slope, triangle formulas, the order of operations (PEMDAS), etc. Understand math terms like irrational, difference, prime, quotient, etc.
Strategy #5: Solve by plugging in the answers when (1) answers are in ascending or descending order, AND (2) the question asks for a specific number answer.
This section is not testing science facts but rather how well you synthesize information from tables, graphs, illustrations, and passages.
Duration: 40 questions, 35 minutes
7 passages include: 3 charts & graphs, 3 experiments, and 1 conflicting viewpoint passage
Strategy #1: Look at each passage, and if you know the subject (for example, biology), tackle it first. The more familiar you are with the subject, the less time it should take.
Strategy #2: The passages are not in order of difficulty, so you should tackle the easiest ones first.
Strategy #3: For the charts or experiment passages, answer using the figures—if you can’t, then read the passage to seek the answer.
Strategy #4: This is the most time-sensitive test, and since it is the last section you are probably pretty drained by this point. If you are spending too much time on a question, guess and move on.
Strategy #5: In the conflicting viewpoints section, read the questions first so you know what to look for in the passage. It will ask you to compare and contrast, so underline each scientist’s main point.