ACT Resources

Free ACT Resources

Our free ACT learning tools offer a comprehensive suite of resources to help you improve your abilities in this area. We offer diagnostic tests, practice tests, flashcards, and well organized example content to let you dive in to any specific concept within ACT.

Free ACT Math Resources

Our free ACT Math learning tools offer a comprehensive suite of resources to help you improve your abilities in this area. We offer diagnostic tests, practice tests, flashcards, and well organized example content to let you dive in to any specific concept within ACT Math.

Whether preparing to go to college or just taking the test due to state requirements, the ACT is a standardized test that most, if not all, students have to face eventually. The Math section may seem particularly challenging to students for whom math is not their strong subject. They may hear that trigonometry appears on the exam and want to give up then and there. The Math section of the ACT isn’t as daunting as it may initially appear, however. Even if you never plan on taking another math course, studying the mathematical concepts featured on the ACT before taking the exam can help you drastically raise not only your ACT Math score, but your Composite ACT score as well.

Many different types of math problems are featured on the official ACT’s Math section, but they are all multiple-choice, so the answer is one of the four listed choices. Also, guessing is definitely an option on the ACT Math section. In fact, guessing can never lower your score on the ACT, so if aren’t sure about an answer, don’t leave that question blank! You are also allowed to use a calculator on the ACT, so you don’t have to worry about doing complex equations by hand. (However, not all calculators are allowed on the ACT—those that make noise or connect to the internet, for example, are prohibited.)

The different types of math topics covered on the ACT Math section include Pre-algebra, Elementary Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra, all of which involve solving or graphing equations with one or more variables. The official ACT Math test also asks questions about coordinate geometry and plane geometry; the difference between these two is that Coordinate Geometry is based on the coordinate plane and graphs, whereas plane geometry is based on two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes and angles. So, a Coordinate Geometry question might ask if two lines are perpendicular, and a plane geometry question might ask you to solve for a missing angle in a particular type of triangle. The ACT Math also asks some trigonometry questions, but you do not need to be a trigonometry expert to do well! If you have memorized the special characteristics of right triangles and can graph trigonometric functions like sine and cosine, you’re well on your way to being prepared for any trigonometry question the ACT Math section might throw at you.

While you have sixty questions to answer in one hour on the ACT Math section, they are all weighted the same, so an easy question affects your score just as much as a difficult question. Many students find it a good tactic to go through the section once answering all the questions that they know for sure, and spend the remaining time on questions that they struggled with. This way, they don’t run out of time struggling with a particularly difficult question and leave questions unanswered, some of which they might have been able to correctly answer in a few seconds!

All in all, when studying for the ACT Math section, it is important that you not feel overwhelmed, even if math is your worst subject. If you need help studying for the ACT Mathematics section, check out the free resources provided by Varsity Tutors in order to get a good sense of the numerous ways in which you can study. You can start by taking a free ACT Mathematics Diagnostic Test to get a sense of which concepts you know well and which you still need to learn. After that, you can take free ACT Mathematics Practice Tests to focus on learning the topics that you understand least well. If you don't have time to take an entire ACT Mathematics Practice Test, you can use Varsity Tutors' free ACT Mathematics Flashcards to study for shorter periods of time. Also, be sure to check out the ACT Mathematics Question of the Day for daily practice. By focusing on studying the math concepts that you don’t understand and taking lots of practice tests, you can be confident on test day when the timer begins and your first ACT Math question of the section is in front of you. 

Free ACT Reading Resources

Our free ACT Reading learning tools offer a comprehensive suite of resources to help you improve your abilities in this area. We offer diagnostic tests, practice tests, flashcards, and well organized example content to let you dive in to any specific concept within ACT Reading.

You have faced dozens and dozens of exams since starting high school. From the most challenging, abstract math test, to complex and exhausting essays, exams are nothing new. Considering how much time you have had to prepare and practice for these tests, it may surprise you to feel anxious and unsettled as the ACT draws closer. The ACT is one of your most important tests, used as one of the few objective measures that university admissions committees have while selecting students.

Because it is used so widely, and valued so highly by admissions committees, the anxiety you experience may be more acute than other tests you face in regular courses. More than that, however, is the unique nature of the ACT.  In fact, some students struggle on standardized exams because of what a radical departure they can be from in-class exams. Perhaps no section better illustrates this fact than the ACT Reading test.

In the course of 35 minutes, you will be asked 40 questions. Clearly, you have to work efficiently! While answering those 40 questions, you won’t be expected to repeat memorized equations or remember obscure minutiae from your history class. Instead, you will have to read passages on the exam, synthesize them, draw inferences, and answer questions meant to evaluate your capacity for critical thinking.

This approach to testing is probably what makes students the most anxious. Instead of combating anxiety with diligent study and memorization, you have to develop the skills demanded, often very slowly. You can’t memorize your way to a top ACT score any more than you can memorize your way to being a track champion.  

The ACT Reading test, for example, will ask that you highlight the main idea of a passage, compare the ideas of the passage to other ideas, and be analytical with regard to the style and tone of the author’s writing. You may have to judge the use of a word based on its context, or appreciate cause and effect in a story. The best approach to studying for these kinds of questions is practice, collaboration, and reflection over a period of time.

You may never feel as prepared for a test like the ACT Reading test as you do for an in-class exam. Because preparation is so difficult, and anxiety so acute, there are a wide variety of resources available for ACT examinees. On Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools website, we offer free, high-quality ACT Reading resources that you can use to organize or supplement your studies. Our ACT Reading practice tests and diagnostics offer you the chance to answer practice questions and survey data about your performance results, whereas our ACT Reading flashcards are great for studying on the go via our Learning Tools website or free Varsity Tutors apps. All of our free ACT Reading resources are catalogued by each question’s type and the concept(s) it tests, so whether you want to study a particular detail or a broad range of content, you can do so easily.

Tutors, study groups with other students, and review materials all offer their own strengths in helping you maximize your ACT Reading performance. It’s most important to find what strategy works for you, and invest the time necessary. No matter what your approach, your success will be most dependent on your commitment to putting in the hours necessary to master the skills you need. You should find encouragement that these skills you develop, however, will take you far on both your ACT Reading test, and in many academic challenges to come. Reading comprehension is a skill that you will use everyday in any major or career!

Free ACT Science Resources

Our free ACT Science learning tools offer a comprehensive suite of resources to help you improve your abilities in this area. We offer diagnostic tests, practice tests, flashcards, and well organized example content to let you dive in to any specific concept within ACT Science.

The ACT Science section can be a particularly harrowing experience for one primary reason: there is no equivalent of the ACT Science section on the SAT exam. While both exams have reading, math, and grammatical sections (ACT English and SAT Writing), only the ACT tests scientific reasoning and problem-solving. This difference means that extensively studying for the ACT Science section is essential, even if you have already taken the SAT.

The content of the ACT Science section is a little bit misleading. This section does not test any actual science content, and no science courses or knowledge of scientific material is actually necessary to score well on this section. Instead, the ACT Science section tests your reasoning, logic, and ability to interpret data to form conclusions. All questions in this section are based on passages about scientific content, but do not require you to fully understand the technical topics of the passages. Questions will focus on interpreting the arguments and data the passages present.

There are three primary formats for ACT Science passages. One format presents conflicting viewpoints or theories on a given topic. Questions for this passage format will revolve around finding weak points in each argument, identifying evidence and data presented in the passage, and comparing the given viewpoints. The second format presents experimental set-ups, generally without giving experimental results, and background information about the theory being tested. Based on the background information, questions will ask you to draw conclusions and make predictions about the results of the experiment. Questions may also ask you to identify weak points in the experimental setup. The final type of ACT Science passage is data presentation with minimal background information. Questions linked to these passages will often ask you to identify mathematical relationships and trends from a table, graph, or figure and apply your reasoning to other hypothetical experiments.

Though these formats are the most common in ACT Science passages, most passages do not fall into a single category. It is very common for the ACT to combine passage types, giving data analysis and experimental setup together in a single passage, for example.

The ACT Science section consists of 40 questions and is administered in 35 minutes. The time limit can present a challenge, as most of the passages are quite complicated and outline scientific concepts with which you may be unfamiliar. The ACT Science section is the last section in the ACT without Writing, and the second to last section in the ACT with Writing. It is always preceded by the ACT Reading section.

It is crucial to remember that the ACT Science section is not a science test. In order to prepare for this section of the exam, it is not enough to master biology, chemistry, or physics concepts. The only way to really prepare yourself is to take practice tests with the ACT Science format and become familiar with passages and question types that you may encounter on the exam. Varsity Tutors offers free ACT Science resources that can help you identify the ACT Science types of passages and questions that you find easy, and those which you need to practice more in order to become comfortable with them. Our free ACT Science Practice Tests can present you with questions concerned with a particular concept, or a random assortment of questions. Our free ACT Science Diagnostic tests each consist of about sixty problems, and are designed to present material from each question type and concept covered on the exam, allowing you to focus your review on your weakest areas. The ACT Science section may seem imposing, but by making use of Varsity Tutors’ free ACT Science resources, you can review in a way that suits your particular abilities and feel confident on exam day!


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