The ACT and SAT math parts can be intimidating for several students, even those who excel in their high school mathematics classes. This is as the material itself rarely surpasses what they have already learned, but the presentation of the problems differs greatly.
There is also no choice to earn any partial credit. If you do a computational error, neither the ACT nor the SAT will be forgiving. With that in mind, here are some important tips and points for reaching your best possible score on this part of the SAT and ACT.
- Understand the test content:
This is a main point, but must be point out. While there are various strategies to enhance your grades – the SAT even gives you with certain formulas – devoting time to learning the material that the ACT or SAT will exam is the most significant step you can take.
Understand the formulas and concepts therefore you do not have to continually refer to them. Know the basic concepts like special triangles and be able to recognize them instantly.
Remember your multiplication tables, denominators, factors and any other information that will spare you unnecessary calculator usage. Speed is vital, and this is the finest way to conserve time without sacrificing performance.
- Don’t just use scratch paper for simple calculations:
If a pictorial or geometric problem is explained in words, sketch it out. It is much simpler and faster to process the problem by looking at a drawing than trying to recreate it in your head.
Similarly, rewrite difficult word problems into easy mathematical language such as easy fractions. As a general rule, it is both more time-consuming and more difficult to solve difficult question by picturing them in your head. Thus take time to first create sketches and take notes before attempting to answer them.
- Focus on both speed and knowledge:
As you practice and prepare for your test, if you determine that a question or a specific type of problem – even one that you consistently answer properly – is taking important time to solve, step back and examine the way you are using to answer it.
Is there a more efficient method you can use to achieve the same solution? Is there any shortcut you may be overlooking? Sometimes there may not be, but often there is an alternate technique or shortcut that may drastically aid your overall score by allowing you to devote more effort and time to other types of questions on the exam.
Performing well on the SAT or ACT mathematics part is not solely about recognizing how to arrive at the accurate answer, but about understanding how to arrive at the right answer in the most efficient manner possible.
- Do not use your calculator as a crutch:
Even if you possess the best calculator money can buy, don’t rely on it more than you have to. In fact, learning how to perform without it can often save you time.
If a question can be solved with a calculator, but doing so will involve multiple computations, chances are you are missing value about the problem. Look at the problem again, and determine if there are ways to solve the expression given thus that your calculator will only have to perform short, easy tasks. This is general the case, and it will save you time that you can reinvest in other questions on the test.
As is the case with most standardized exams or tests, practice is the key. The majority of strategies that you may wish to carry into exam day will only help you if you practice until they become second nature. Get more tips about SAT and ACT exam online, there are various sites like Expertsmind which provide you important information about SAT and ACT exam.