Many students dread taking the Math section of the ACT most of all. But most students, even those who do extremely well on the Math section, overestimate the amount of math knowledge needed to do well and underestimate the extent to which learning how to think resourcefully can elevate your score. But before you review when and how to apply the Pythagorean theorem, for example (which is always tested on the ACT Math section, by the way), first ask yourself whether you have a clear and proven attack plan for what you need to do on test day (in every section, not just the Math) in order to reach your target score. Unfortunately, most students have no such plan.
Most students, in fact, don’t even have a clear picture of what they’ll be up against on test day. We had one student, for instance, who, when we started working with her, didn’t know the order in which the four sections appear on the ACT (or even that there are four sections, for that matter). We eventually straightened her out, of course, and she went on to earn scores in the 30s in every section. But our point is that the number of students who are truly familiar with the test and think about it strategically is remarkably low.
Ask yourself these questions: Are you familiar with the format of the test? How many questions does the Math section contain? How much time do you get to answer these questions? Is the Math section broken up into parts? What aspects distinguish the Math section from the other three?
Most importantly, though, ask yourself how you can use the answers to these questions to your advantage on test day. If you’re not sure, that’s where we can help. We specialize in teaching our students to think completely differently about the ACT.
Our strategies go far beyond the general, mostly obvious tips you often hear from others. (Here’s one that always comes up: “When you’re stuck, try using process of elimination.” Really? Is that a cutting-edge technique? And isn’t eliminating wrong answer choices something you should do even when you’re not stuck?) We teach a concrete, analytical plan that will show you how to approach the ACT like a smart test taker.
If you consider yourself a bad test taker, this is definitely something you don’t want to miss!