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Skills Tested on the Math Part of the ACT

Skills Tested on the Math Part of the ACT

Skills Tested on the Math Part of the ACT

Many students feel that they will have a hard time doing well on the math portion of the ACT. The ACT does not provide formulas. Therefore, it is important that you learn the ones that you will be tested on allowing you to recall them quickly on test day. You will have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions, so you will need to work quickly. Since there is no penalty for getting an answer wrong, make sure that you fill in every answer. Learning exactly what skills will be tested can help you know what you need to practice during ACT tutoring in Orlando.


Over 58 percent of the questions on the math part of the ACT covers algebra. You will need a good understanding of pre, elementary and advanced algebra to do well on the test. You can expect to see questions testing:

  • Averages
  • Exponents
  • Inequalities
  • Integers
  • Linear equations
  • Manipulation of decimals
  • Manipulation of fractions
  • Order of operations
  • Percentages
  • Prime numbers
  • Quadratic equations
  • Ratios
  • Roots
  • Rules of zero
  • Simultaneous equations


About 36 percent of the test will cover plane and coordinate geometry. Therefore, if it has been a while since you have done geometry problems in high school, you may need ACT tutoring to help you recall rapidly things that you are fuzzy on. You will need to know:

  • Angles
  • Areas
  • Circles
  • Graphing
  • Lengths
  • Midpoint
  • Parallel lines
  • Perimeters
  • Perpendicular lines
  • Points of intersection
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Slope
  • Triangles
  • Volume


The final 8 percent of the test contains 4 trigonometry questions. You will need to know graphing, trig identities, tangent functions, sine, and cosine.

Tips for Getting a Top Score on the ACT Math Test

Getting the top score on the ACT math test does not come without work. Use these helpful tips to help you prepare.

Know Your Formulas

Remember that you are not given a formula sheet. While some students see this as a disadvantage, it saves time during the test because you do not have to flip back to the formula list to make sure that you are using the right formula. Furthermore, by the time that you have committed the formula to memory, you have practiced the formula many times helping you score better.

Become a Graphing Expert

Many of the questions on the ACT will expect you to use a formula and then plot the answer on a graph. If you plan on using a graphing calculator, then make sure that you know how to use its graphing capabilities before the test begins.

Be Prepared for Word Problems

You need to develop a strategy for dealing with word problems on the ACT. One strategy that works for many is to read the problem through once underlining words that seem important. Then, draw a quick illustration. Write down the formulas that you need. Finally, plug in the numbers and solve the problem.

Work with a Tutor

The last tip is to work with an ACT tutor. Call Celebration Learning and Academic Services at 407-440-9740 to make the arrangements for ACT tutoring in Orlando.