SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Courtney Montgomery

Courtney scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT in high school and went on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology. She is passionate about bringing education and the tools to succeed to students from all backgrounds and walks of life, as she believes open education is one of the great societal equalizers. She has years of tutoring experience and writes creative works in her free time.

Recent Posts

The 28 Critical SAT Math Formulas You MUST Know

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Dec 4, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

The SAT math test is unlike any math test you’ve taken before. It’s designed to take concepts you’re used to and make you apply them in new (and often strange) ways. It’s tricky, but with attention to detail and knowledge of the basic formulas and concepts covered by the test, you can improve your score.

So what formulas do you need to have memorized for the SAT math section before the day of the test? In this complete guide, I'll cover every critical formula you MUST know before you sit down for the test. I'll also explain them in case you need to jog your memory about how a formula works. If you understand every formula in this list, you'll save yourself valuable time on the test and probably get a few extra questions correct.

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The Ultimate ACT Math Prep Guide: Strategies, Topics, and Tips

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM

ACT Math

We at PrepScholar believe in providing you with the highest quality ACT study material. We've put together a detailed, entirely free guide for your ACT math prep right here. This is the best, most comprehensive guide to the ACT Math section available anywhere. To make this article, we brought all of our top ACT Math guides together in one place.

The path to mastering the ACT is challenging, but if you're dedicated to doing your best on the test and are ready to commit your time and energy to improving your score, using our guides can help you reach your greatest potential!

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The 21 Hardest ACT Math Questions Ever

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

ACT Math

You’ve studied and now you’re geared up for the ACT math section (whoo!). But are you ready to take on the most challenging math questions the ACT has to offer? Want to know exactly why these questions are so hard and how best to go about solving them? If you’ve got your heart set on that perfect score (or you’re just really curious to see what the most difficult questions will be), then this is the guide for you.

We’ve put together what we believe to be the most 21 most difficult questions the ACT has given to students in the past 10 years, with strategies and answer explanations for each. These are all real ACT math questions, so understanding and studying them is one of the best ways to improve your current ACT score and knock it out of the park on test day.

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Coordinate Geometry on ACT Math: Strategies and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 13, 2017 4:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Coordinate geometry is a big focus on the ACT math section, and you’ll need to know its many facets in order to tackle the variety of coordinate geometry questions you’ll see on the test. Luckily, coordinate geometry is not difficult to visualize or wrap your head around once you know the basics. And we are here to walk you through them.

There will usually be three questions on any given ACT that involve points alone, and another two to three questions that will involve lines and slopes and/or rotations, reflections, or translations. These topics are tested by about 10% of your ACT math questions, so it is a good idea to understand the ins and outs of coordinate geometry before you tackle the test.

This article will be your complete guide to points and the building blocks for coordinate geometry: I will explain how to find and manipulate points, distances, and midpoints, and give you strategies for solving these types of questions on the ACT.

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Functions on SAT Math: Linear, Quadratic, and Algebraic

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 8, 2017 11:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT functions have the dubious honor of being one of the trickiest topics on the SAT math section. Luckily, this is not because function problems are inherently more difficult to solve than any other math problem, but because most students have simply not dealt with functions as much as they have other SAT math topics.

This means that the difference between missing points on this seemingly tricky topic and acing them is simply a matter of practice and familiarization. And considering that function problems generally show up on average of three to four times per test, you will be able to pick up several more SAT math points once you know the rules and workings of functions.

This will be your complete guide to SAT functions. We’ll walk you through exactly what functions mean, how to use, manipulate, and identify them, and exactly what kind of function problems you’ll see on the SAT.

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Inequalities on ACT Math: Strategies and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 7, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Inequality questions come in a variety of shapes and forms on the ACT, but, no matter their form, you will see approximately three inequality questions on any given test. This means that inequality questions make up 5% of your overall ACT math test. Now 5% of your test might not sound like a lot, but with only a quick brush-up on inequalities, that’s an additional 5% of your questions that you’re bound to rock!

This will be your complete guide to inequalities on the ACT: what they are, the different types of ACT math problems on inequalities, and how to solve them.

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Sequences on ACT Math: Strategy Guide and Review

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 31, 2017 11:00:00 AM

ACT Math

Sequences are patterns of numbers that follow a particular set of rules. Whether new term in the sequence is found by an arithmetic constant or found by a ratio, each new number is found by a certain rule—the same rule—each time.

There are several different ways to find the answers to the typical sequence questions—”What is the first term of the sequence?”, “What is the last term?”, “What is the sum of all the terms?”—and each has its benefits and drawbacks. We will go through each method, and the pros and cons of each, to help you find the right balance between memorization, longhand work, and time strategies.

This will be your complete guide to ACT sequence problems—the various types of sequences there are, the typical sequence questions you’ll see on the ACT, and the best ways to solve these types of problems for your particular ACT test taking strategies.

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Triangles on SAT Math: Geometry Strategies and Practice Problems

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 29, 2017 5:00:00 PM

SAT Math

Triangle questions account for less than 10% of all SAT math questions. That being said, you still want to get those questions right, so you should be prepared to know every kind of triangle: right triangles, isosceles triangles, isosceles right triangles—the SAT could test you on any one of them. Since triangle problems only account for a small percent of the SAT math questions, you shouldn’t spend all of your study time on triangles.

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Lines and Angles in ACT Math: Review and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 11, 2017 12:30:00 PM

ACT Math

There are several math topics that act as foundations for understanding ACT Math, even though there are not many questions specifically dedicated to the topic. This is most certainly the case for line and angle problems. Though it is rare to see a pure line and angle problem (without the addition of other geometric shapes), you’ll need to know just how lines and angles work and how to solve for all your missing measures before you can take on those more complex problems.

This will be your complete guide to lines and angles on the ACT—what they are, how you’ll see them on the test, and how to solve these types of questions to maximize your points on test day.

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Statistics on SAT Math: Strategies for Mean, Median, Mode

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT statistics questions usually involve finding the mean, median, and/or mode(s) of a set of numbers. You have probably dealt with with these concepts in your high school math classes but, as always, the SAT likes to put their own special twist on simple concepts such as these.

Whether or not you are familiar with these terms and the techniques needed to find a mean, median, or mode, this guide is for you. SAT questions are always tricky and knowing how to handle their version of these types of questions will serve you well as you go through your test.

This will be your complete guide to SAT means, medians, and modes—what they mean, how you’ll see them on the test, and how to solve even the most complicated of SAT statistics questions.

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How to Actually Use Your ACT Math Formulas

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 3, 2017 1:30:00 PM

ACT Math

About 33% of the ACT math section requires you to know and use at least one math formula. This means that remembering your formulas and understanding how to utilize them is of paramount importance.

We’ve put together all the ACT formulas you’ll need to know (prioritized in the order from greatest to least that you’ll see them on the test) as well as how to best use them for test-day.

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Polygons on ACT Math: Geometry Formulas and Strategies

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Sep 4, 2017 6:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Questions about both circles and various types of polygons are some of the most prevalent types of geometry questions on the ACT. Polygons come in many shapes and sizes and you will have to know them inside and out in order to take on the many different types of polygon questions the ACT has to offer.

The good news is that, despite their variety, polygons are often less complex than they look; a few simple rules and strategies are all that you need when it comes to solving an ACT polygon question.

This will be your complete guide to ACT polygons—the rules and formulas for various polygons, the kinds of questions you’ll be asked about them, and the best approach for solving these types of questions.

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Complete Guide to Integers on ACT Math (Advanced)

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 29, 2017 3:30:00 PM

ACT Math

Integers, integers, integers (oh, my)! You've already read up on your basic ACT integers and now you're hankering to tackle the heavy hitters of the integer world. Want to know how to (quickly) find a list of prime numbers? Want to know how to manipulate and solve exponent problems? Root problems? Well look no further!

This will be your complete guide to advanced ACT integers, including prime numbers, exponents, absolute values, consecutive numbers, and roots—what they mean, as well as how to solve the more difficult integer questions that may show up on the ACT.

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Complete Guide to Probability on SAT Math + Practice Questions

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 28, 2017 8:30:00 AM

SAT Math

A probability question asks you to identify how likely a particular event is to occur. How likely is it that you’ll pick a red marble out of a bag? How likely is it that a particular person will be chosen out of a lottery? How likely is it that two or more events will both occur? These are just some of the many different types of probability questions you may encounter on the SAT.

This guide will take you through all aspects of probability you’ll need to know for the SAT--exactly what probability means, the typical probability questions you’ll see on the SAT math section, and the steps needed to solve them.

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Lines and Slopes in SAT Math: Geometry Strategies

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 16, 2017 4:00:00 PM

SAT Math

In our SAT guide to lines and angles, we dealt with parallel lines, perpendiculars, and the many different ways to find angle measures with two or more lines. Now, we’ll look at the other aspect of lines, namely their slopes and equations.

This will be your complete guide to lines and slopes—what slopes mean, how to find them, and how to solve the many types of slope and line equation questions you’ll see on the SAT.

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