Words of “Wiz-dom”—Many of the concepts on the math test were taught to you by the end of middle school. In fact, a lot of the test is about math facts and mechanical skills (adding, subtracting, etc.) that you learned in elementary school. Most questions don’t test what you know. Most questions test your understanding of math. As a result, most of the time we are going to look at the math concepts from a different perspective. To begin, we aren’t going to consider ALL math concepts, only the concepts that are important for the ACT. For example, you won’t be spending time on congruent triangles. They are never on the test. We are going to focus our attention only on concepts that are on the test. Most of the time will be spent on understanding how the concept is important in the mind of the test writer. Then you need to practice with some actual ACT tests. Ultimately, your ability to excel on math problems will be determined by how much time you spend developing your skills through practice.
As you go through each section of the Math Test materials you should practice with real ACT test items. The ACT Arithmetic Practice Items contains a chart that tells you where to find practice items that are related to each of the topics we review. You will do better on the test if you review a section of arithmetic and then do the related practice questions. Then you can go on to the next section of the course and do the related test items. Be sure to repeat this process for algebra, geometry, and trig.
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