Whether you're on a budget or just want to see what kinds of ACT Math study materials you can access for free, you've come to the right place. Though the internet is chock-full of ACT resources of dubious quality, we've collected and put together only the highest quality free ACT Math study material available.
So let's jump right in!
Note: For guides and reviews of the best for-pay ACT study, check out our list of ACT study links, which includes all official practice tests, and our top picks for ACT prep books.
Why You Must Use High-Quality ACT Math Materials
Because the ACT is a very specific type of standardized test, it's crucial that you study using the right sources. Studying with the wrong materials is about as bad as not studying at all, and there are, unfortunately, a lot of poorly designed ACT prep materials floating around. So don't be tempted by the many websites and programs, both free and paid, that provide ACT prep materials of poor quality.
If you spend your time studying from inferior materials, you will not have a clear sense of how you'll perform on the ACT. Proper test prep is about assessing your current level and improving upon it, but you won't be able to do this if you get a false sense of your skill level (either higher or lower) based on low-quality study materials. In short, any practice problems that don't properly reflect the types of questions you'll see on the ACT aren't worth your time!
Knowing this, the absolute best study strategy is to use official ACT materials. The test is designed by ACT, Inc., and their free materials are far and away the best place to start. From here, you can then branch off to programs and resources that utilize (or closely resemble) this official material.
Because you should only be studying from websites and programs that are as close to the source (i.e., the official ACT) as possible, there sadly aren't a whole lot of free materials available.
That said, we've found a couple of solid free ACT Math resources you can use in your prep. Read on to see what these are!
The 4 Best Resources for Free ACT Math Practice
Here are four super helpful websites you can use to help you make the most of your ACT Math studies—and you don't have to pay a cent for any of them!
#1: ACT, Inc.
The creator of the test itself, ACT, Inc., should always be your first go-to website for any and all ACT matters. Luckily, they also have a good deal of free study resources, offering both complete ACT practice tests and individual Math practice materials.
Free Official Full-Length ACT Practice Tests
The ACT only offers one official, free full-length practice test on their website:
Since this is from the ACT itself, this is definitely the practice test you should use first!
Note: If you buy the Official ACT Prep Guide 2020-2021, you'll have access to five more official ACT practice tests, but this is obviously not free (around $17 on Amazon). You can also buy the newly-released Official Beginner's Guide for ACT which has a new practice ACT and a (shortened) practice PreACT. It costs about $23 on Amazon.
Free Official ACT Math Practice
In addition to complete practice tests, the official ACT website provides sample math questions with answer choice feedback. These are a full 60 questions in ascending order of difficulty, just like a real ACT Math section. It's essentially another free complete ACT Math test with which you can study!
We recommend solving all your questions on paper and then checking your work at the end, rather than checking your accuracy after each question. This method will give you a better sense of how you'll do on the ACT (remember, you won't get immediate feedback while you're taking the actual test!).
No need to worry about bills here—most of your ACT studying can be done for free.
#2: PrepScholar ACT Blog
At PrepScholar, we've compiled tons of free resources for all your ACT Math needs, including detailed guides on every ACT math topic. Our articles give definitions and explanations for major math concepts, offer examples of how you'll see each topic on the test, and provide ACT practice questions with detailed answer explanations.
Below are some of our most helpful content-related resources for the ACT Math section:
Plane and Solid Geometry
In addition, we have strategy guides to help you solve numerous ACT Math problems across the board:
You can also sign up for a free five-day trial for our online ACT prep program. This customizable program assesses your current strengths and weaknesses and adapts to your needs based on your progress. It also gives you practice questions tailored to your areas that need improvement and provides expert answer explanations for all questions.
The questions we use in our program are all based on real ACT test questions, and, though the full program is not free, we guarantee you your money back if you don't improve your ACT score by 4 points.
#3: Ivy Global ACT Practice Test
This company offers a free unofficial ACT practice test. Although the math content overall is solid, some questions are slightly easier than those on the actual ACT. In addition, there are no answer explanations, making it hard to determine how to effectively solve questions you got wrong.
Otherwise, this PDF offers helpful practice and is a great option if you've already used up all official resources. I recommend using it mainly to dig into extra math questions (instead of taking it as a full-length test). This will help you develop a clearer picture of what math concepts and question types are especially difficult for you.
It should also be noted that unlike other ACT websites, Ivy Global does not require you to make an account in order to access its ACT practice material.
#4: Khan Academy
A partner of the College Board (the creators of the SAT—not ACT), Khan Academy is a great website to use for ACT Math practice and review, as long as you know how to use it effectively.
I say that because this free prep website only offers a program for the SAT, so you won't find any official ACT practice questions here. That said, you can still use Khan Academy to drill relevant ACT Math concepts and practice those you've learned.
Since the ACT, like the SAT, has a big emphasis on algebra, you can use the SAT's Heart of Algebra and Passport to Advanced Math sections for relevant practice. For geometry (which makes up 35-45% of ACT Math), use the High School Geometry page to choose specific concepts and watch videos on them. Finally, for trigonometry, go with the trigonometry and SAT Additional Topics sections.
OK, so you've got your study material. Now how do you best use it?
How to Use ACT Math Resources Effectively: 6 Key Tips
In addition to knowing what material to actually use (and what to avoid) for your ACT Math prep, it's important to know how to best utilize the resources you find. The following six tips will help you achieve your highest ACT Math score using the free prep materials available.
#1: Take a Complete Practice Test in One Sitting
Though you're probably mostly concerned about your ACT Math score, you still need to know how you'll fare over the course of the full ACT. Answering one or two ACT questions might not be overly challenging, but the test is a marathon: if you aren't prepared, you'll likely find yourself exhausted by the end of it. And exhaustion can cause anyone to make mistakes!
So before you dedicate your focus to ACT Math alone, see how your Math score fits into the larger test-taking picture.
Plus, a bonus: by taking a full ACT practice test, you'll also be able to see how your Math score does over the course of the entire Math section (remember, questions get harder and harder over the course of the Math test!).
#2: Use Proper Timing
As you take your complete practice test and any math-specific sections, be sure to follow the proper timing used on the real ACT.
Here's a brief overview of how much time you'll get on each ACT section as well as how much (estimated) time you should spend per question:
|ACT Section||Total Time||# of Questions||Time per Question|
|English||45 minutes||75||36 seconds|
|Math||60 minutes||60||60 seconds|
|Reading||35 minutes||40||53 seconds|
|Science||35 minutes||40||53 seconds|
|Writing (Optional)||40 minutes||1||40 minutes|
As you can see, you'll have an average of one minute to answer each Math question, and you'll need to know how well you fit into these parameters before test day. It's not worth much if you can answer every question correctly but can't complete the test in time!
Don't worry if you run out of time while taking your first practice test—this is completely normal and gives you a place from which to begin and improve. If the trend continues, however, consider checking out our guide on how to stop running out of time on ACT Math.
#3: Review Your Mistakes
Taking a practice test is merely the first step. Once you're done with this, focus on identifying any patterns in your correct and incorrect answers so that you can see what and how you need to improve.
For example, do you tend to get the last few questions wrong on Math? Do function questions always throw you for a loop? Whatever your case, dig deep to examine your errors, and tailor your study plan to drill your most challenging areas.
#4: Target Your Areas of Weakness
Your goal is to answer as many questions as accurately as possible, so dedicate the majority of your time to improving your areas of weakness.
For example, if you're struggling to understand a certain concept, such as systems of equations or coordinate geometry, take time to review it and then use practice questions and tests to ensure you're getting it down.
In addition, make an effort to prioritize the first 40 questions or so on ACT Math. Though each question is worth the same number of points, they get more and more difficult as you go through the test. Therefore, it's more efficient in terms of your time and energy to solve two questions in the 20-range than it is to spend twice as much time solving question 60.
#5: Pace Your Studying
Don't cram all your studying into one day before the test. With a busy schedule, cramming might seem like your only option, but real improvement happens over time.
And yet don't despair, either! No matter how much time you have left before the test, you can make a balanced study program.
Start by looking at the time you have before test day. We generally recommend giving yourself at least three to six months to study for the ACT; this should be enough time for you to identify your weaknesses, take several practice tests, and review key content.
Next, assign yourself at least three full practice tests in addition to your normal studying time, spaced out over the course of your time until the test.
This probably won't be possible if you only have a week or two before the ACT, but it's still important to fit in at least one practice test or two wherever you can. If you're on an accelerated or last-minute schedule, check out our guides to studying for the ACT in a month and improving your ACT score in 10 days.
#6: No Improvement? Consider Using a Tutor or Prep Program
Some students want to do all their studying alone, but for others this method is impractical.
If the material doesn't make sense to you and you need extra guidance (or something to get you to make time to study), a tutor or prep program (or both!) can give you the final push you need to do well on the ACT and maximize your score. At PrepScholar, we offer both expert tutoring and a fully customizable online ACT prep program.
As you weigh your options, remember to consider how much you should pay for an ACT tutor and when your ACT test date is so you can come up with a surefire plan that works well for you!
There are many different study paths, and you'll find the right one for your needs! (maramao/DeviantArt)
Want to best make use of your ACT study materials? Now that you've gathered some ACT Math resources, check out how to get the most realistic ACT experience in your practice.
Bitten by the procrastination bug? Time running out until test day? Check out how to beat the urge to procrastinate and learn how to balance your time for your ACT prep.
Looking to get a perfect ACT score? Take a look at our guides to how many questions you can get wrong and still get a perfect score and how to get a full 36 on ACT Math (written by a perfect scorer!).
These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.
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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.