The math portion of the ACT contains 60 questions. The student has 60 minutes to complete this section.
Math Subjects Covered
The questions in the math section come from 6 areas of mathematics listed below, along with examples of some of the types of subjects within those areas:
- Pre-Algebra - basic skills with statistics, fractions, percents, variables, and expressions
- Elementary Algebra - absolute value, rates, expressions, and solving equations
- Intermediate Algebra - square roots, imaginary numbers, logs/exponentials, and more advanced systems of equations
- Coordinate Geometry - lines and figures in the coordinate plane
- Plane Geometry - figures, angles, and lines
- Trigonometry - trigonometric functions and relationships
From past exams, we know that the 6 types are NOT evenly distributed within the test though, so you need to be prepared to answer questions from all areas.
One of the best ways to prepare for this exam is to work math questions like you may see on the test. I have put together a FREE 7-day mini course that will be delivered to your email. Over 7 days, you will receive lessons related to each of the 6 math subject areas covered on the ACT. This mini course is in no way a comprehensive course, but it will help you get a feel for the types of questions you may see and is a starting point for your preparation.
For the 2016-2017 testing season, the ACT board introduced a new reporting system that we will discuss in a future post. In short, I think this is mainly just a different categorization of the questions, not necessarily a change in the math tested. But, there does seem to be more of an emphasis on areas such as statistics in the latest tests given, but math is math and it is always a good idea to learn the skills whether you are tested on them on the ACT or not.
The questions on the math section are all multiple choice with 5 options to choose from. You can expect to see many different types of questions on the math section. There will be word problems, solve/simplify, graphs, figures, and other math problems.
The more you practice you will gain confidence and get comfortable working these different types of problems and applying the concepts with different approaches. Take a look at our FREE mini course to get a feel for these questions and start preparing for the ACT.