Unlike the SAT, the ACT does not provide you with any formulas to use on the test. So you need to be able to recall them. Below you will find lists of “Must Know” formulas, “Good to Know” formulas, and “Bonus” formulas to commit to memory for the ACT!

## Important ACT Math Formulas to Know (PDF)

Sometimes it’s easier to memorize formulas by studying a little bit every day. To make this easier, we created a downloadable, printable Magoosh ACT Math Formulas PDF.

## Must Know ACT Math Formulas:

Though the ACT tests different concepts on each exam, there are popular topics that come up again and again. This list contains the best ACT math formulas to know, in addition to some extras (for all you over-achievers out there). Bonus: the math formulas on the ACT also appear in your high school math classes. So, you’re really studying for two things at once. Nice.

### Average:

S/T (Average = Sum/Number of things)

### Lines:

Slope intercept form:
y = mx + b (where m is the slope and b is the y-intercept)

Slope:

Perimeter of a rectangle:
2l + 2w (where l is the length and w is the width)

Area of a rectangle:
lw (length x width)

Volume of a box:
lwh (length x width x height)

Surface area of a rectangular solid:
2lw + 2wh + 2lh

Diagonal in a rectangular solid:
Apply the Pythagorean theorem twice or

### Triangles:

Area of a triangle:
1/2bh (1/2 base x height)

### Circles and Spheres:

Area of a circle:

Circumference of a circle:

Volume of a sphere:

### Cylinders:

Volume of a cylinder:

### Trigonometry:

SOHCAHTOA:
sin x = opposite/hypotenuse

You should also know your quadrants and where sine, cosine, and tangent are positive or negative:

### Probability:

Probability:
Number of desired outcomes / number of total outcomes

Factorials (e.g. 8!):
To find the factorial of any integer, multiply it by every positive integer below it, e.g.:
8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1

## Formulas that are Good to Know

Equation of a circle:

Volume of a cone:

Volume of a pyramid:

Arithmetic sequences:

Geometric sequences:

### Logarithms

Definition:

Change of base rule:

### Trapezoids

Area of a trapezoid:

(Add the bases, divide by two, then multiply by the height.)

### Exponential Growth Formula:

Where P = principal (starting value), r = rate of growth, n = number of months, t = time in years, and A = new amount.

## Bonus Things to Know

Often, you will be better off applying a strategy such as backsolving to solve a complicated algebra problem, but if you are comfortable with the quadratic equation, keep it in the back of your mind.

### Combinations:

Let us know if you have any questions about these ACT formulas. 🙂
Image Credit: hotmath.com and getmathhelp.jimdo.com

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's blogs are chock-full of awesome, free resources for students preparing for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agonizing bliss of marathon running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.

### 2 Responses to “Math Formulas on the ACT [PDF]”

1. Jáksó Éva says:

Is there any more formula which is needed for the ACT?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

Hi there 🙂 We’ve done our best to compile most, if not all, of the formulas you’ll want to be familiar with on test day. While we can’t guarantee that the list is exhaustive, if you know how to apply the formulas we listed, you should be well on your way to ACT Math success 😀

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!