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SAT: 720 math
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# Using ACT math formulas more efficiently?

I'm preparing for the ACT and I want to know if you guys have any suggestions on how to use the provided math formulas in the best way? How can I improve my math-solving techniques?

7 months ago

Sure! I'd be happy to help. Here are a few tips on how to master the formulas that commonly appear on the ACT:

1. Memorize the important formulas: Even though the test provides you with some formulas, it's still important to have the key ones memorized. These include formulas relating to geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. Having them memorized saves you time by reducing the need to refer back to the formula sheet, and also increases your confidence during the test.

2. Practice simplifying expressions: ACT math questions often include complex expressions that you need to manipulate. Familiarize yourself with the order of operations, distribution, and combining like terms. The better you become at simplifying expressions, the easier it'll be to apply the formulas and solve problems quickly.

3. Learn to recognize question types: As you practice, try to become familiar with the types of questions you'll encounter on the ACT math section. This will help you quickly identify which approach to take and which formulas you'll need to use for that approach to work. Knowing the right formula and method can save you time and effort, by avoiding the need to use trial and error.

4. Double-check your work: After solving a math problem on the ACT, it's always a good idea to take a moment and look over your work. Check to ensure you've used the correct formulas and have included all necessary steps in the problem. Catching small errors will ensure you maximize your score, as the ACT has no partial credit.

5. Use multiple approaches for especially tricky questions: You don't want to do this often, as it's time-consuming and ultimately all the questions are worth the same. However, if you're okay on time and shooting for a high overall ACT score, it can be worth it to, for example, check the solution you got on a problem you found difficult with an algebraic approach by verifying with a graphical approach.

Lastly, practice, practice, and practice! Familiarity and repetition are key to improving your skills in using the provided formulas effectively. Take practice tests—making sure to time yourself—to build up your speed and accuracy. And don't just take the tests, but also review your mistakes after each practice test to identify areas where you still need improvement and focus your efforts on these topics.