Mistakes to Avoid: ACT Math Section

Math equation on the blackboard.

Flickr user jpellgen

Are you prepared for your ACT? It can be easy to worry about potential mistakes you can make during the exam, but knowing what you’re facing can help. Here are some mistakes you’ll want to steer clear of when it comes to your ACT Math section.

Not Knowing Formulas

Although some teachers will let you bring flashcards of formulas to their tests, that isn’t the case for the ACT. It’s up to you to know how to do the math with just your pencil, paper, and calculator. This includes remembering the formulas you’ve learned over your high school career. Not knowing the appropriate math to use on a question can give you a wrong answer before you’ve even started.

During your study time, prepare flashcards for your math formulas. Ask your teachers or use online resources to find out what formulas may pop up during your ACT.

Not Showing Your Work 

You’ve heard your math teachers say it for years: “Show your work!” There is a good reason for that! Part of the ACT is time management; it’s easy to rush in an effort to complete the entire section. Rushing could in turn cause you to skip steps and result in the wrong answer.

Instead of attempting to answer each question as quickly as possible, take the time to write down each step of your problem solving. Seeing each part can help you avoid a skipped step or even find mistakes you may have made earlier in the problem.

Not Managing Your Time

Time management is a huge aspect of the ACT, for any section. The math portion has 60 questions and each student has 60 minutes to answer them all. If you want to score high on this section, you will have to answer nearly all 60.

During your studying for the ACT, make sure to devote time to learning how to better manage the hour you’re given for the math section. Test and push yourself during your practice exams to see how well you improve. If you find a question particularly difficult, skip it and move on to the next. Sitting on a stumper could cause you to not finish the section.

Double Check Your Calculator

You may not have time at the end of the ACT Math section to go over your work, so it’s important to ensure you’ve done the math correctly the first time around. A common error is entering the wrong number into your calculator. Before you hit the next sequence or number in the formula, ensure that it was entered correctly so you don’t have to do the entire problem over!

Thankfully, it’s easier to spot this error, as most times, the answer will not appear under the multiple choices. However, it does result in wasted time.

Managing your time is essential to doing well on the ACT and particularly the Math section of the exam. Taking practice tests and studying can make sure you’re prepared, showing all your work, and remembering all of the necessary formulas.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.