# ACT® Math Prep: Practice Tips for Math

## How to Practice for the ACT Math Test Section

Getting ready for the ACT Math test can be overwhelming! But having ACT Math strategies make this section of the test less intimidating. Learn more about what to expect from the ACT Math section, then check out Sylvan’s ACT Math tips below!

All questions on the ACT Math test are multiple-choice, based on 6 content areas, as seen below. There are **60 multiple-choice questions**, and you’ll have **60 minutes to answer them.**

These questions will test you on ACT Math concepts and topics like:

**Pre-Algebra and Elementary Algebra.**Includes questions based on basic operations and algebraic expressions.**Intermediate Algebra and Coordinate Geometry.**Includes questions based on rational and radical expressions, absolute value equations and inequalities, sequences and patterns, as well as questions based on the relations between equations and graphs.**Plane Geometry and Trigonometry.**Includes questions based on the properties and relations of plane figures as well as trigonometric relations in right triangles, trigonometric functions and trigonometric equations.

## 2 ACT Math Tips to Help You Practice

### Tip 1: Pick-and-Choose Numbers

This is a strategy for solving algebra problems that have variables or actual numbers as answer choices. Instead of reading a problem as “Ben completed x projects on time,” you might say “Ben completed 20 projects on time.” As long as you substitute 20 for x everywhere in the problem and in the answer choices, you will get the question right.

*Use this tip to answer the ACT Math practice problem.*

**Practice Question: Marissa is half as old as Robert, who is four times as old as Jeremy. Marissa is currently m years old, what will Jeremy’s age be in 5 years in terms of m?**

A.

*m*/2 + 5

B.

*m*+ 5

C. 2

*m*- 5

D. 2

*m*+ 5

E. 2

*m*+ 5/2

**Answer and explanation:** Substitute m with 20.

M = 20 = *m*

R = 40

J = 10

J + 5 = 15

Therefore, **A is the correct answer.**

### Tip 2: Pick-and-Choose Answers

This is a strategy for algebra problems that have actual numbers as answer choices. Assume that one of the answer choices is correct, and then *check your work.*

When you use pick-and-choose answers, **start with answer C or H.** Because the answers on the ACT are generally in ascending or descending order, starting in the middle allows you to eliminate answers more quickly. If an answer choice does not work, eliminate it and try a higher or lower answer choice.

*Use this tip to answer the ACT Math practice problem.*

**Practice Question: James and Lisa sponsored a youth soccer team by donating a total of $260. If James had donated 10 more dollars, he would have given twice as much money as Lisa. How much money did James donate?**

A. $190

B. $170

C. $130

D. $90

E. $80

**Answer and explanation:**

Start with C.

C: James = $130

So, Lisa = 260 - 130 = 130. If James had given $10 more, then he would have given $140, which is NOT twice as much as Lisa.

Next, try B.

B: James = $170

So, Lisa = 260 - 170 = 90. If James had given $10 more, he would have given $180, which is twice as much as Lisa. **B is the correct answer.**

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