Of the 60 questions on the ACT math section, about 21 of them will consist of algebra problems. That’s about 1/3 of the total math test, so you’ll ned to have a firm grasp on the concepts listed here in order to do well.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know conveniently listed so that you can go through and pick out the topics you need to work on.

## ACT Math: Elementary Algebra Topics

**Solving Expressions With Substitution**

Here you need to be very comfortable to manipulating equations, solving a problem with given expressions and numbers, and plugging in numbers. This is your basic bread and butter of algebra,.

**Simplifying Algebraic Expressions**

Know how to combine like terms and how to factor. In order to do this, you’ll

need to know basic math properties such as the associative and distributive

property.

**Writing/Solving Expressions and Equations**

On some problems, you’ll need to take a word problem and convert it into

simple linear equation or expression in order to solve it. To solve equations,

the most reliable way to get to the answer is by isolating the variable on one

side of the equation and the numbers on the other side.

**Multiplying Binomials**

When you see a binomial, the first thing you should think about is FOIL. This

stands for First, Outer, Inner, and Last.

**Inequalities**

You can treat these the same as equations, but remember that the sign flips and points the other way whenever you multiply or divide both sides by a negative number.

## ACT Math: Intermediate Algebra Topics

**Quadratic Equations**

Most of the time, you can factor a quadratic equation problem on the ACT. However, you should know the quadratic formula just in case you need it.

**Systems of Equations**

There are multiple ways to solve a system of equations – so make sure you

know how to do it several ways. Depending on the problem, one way will be

quicker than another.

**Relationships Among Variables in an Equation**

You’ll sometimes come across some tougher questions that ask you to think

about what happens to one variable as another variable increases or

decreases. If you aren’t sure, you can try plugging in a few values and

check the answer. Beware of variables to a power higher (or lower) than 1.

**Functions**

The ACT likes to throw in multistep problems that involve figuring out the answer to one function and then plugging that answer into a second function. Make sure you don’t confuse one function with the other!

**Logarithms**

You won’t see too many of these on the ACT, but make sure you know how

they work and the basics of logarithms.

**Matrices**

Again, it’s a topic that is not tested very often, but make sure you familiarize

yourself with them so that you don’t waste too much time trying to remember

how they work.

**ACT Algebra Review: What to Do Next**

Now it’s time for you to put your head down and study hard. If you have a mountain of studying to do, don’t despair! I strongly recommend that you break it down into manageable, small sections so that you can learn effectively while avoiding burnout.

Good luck!

**Ready for more advanced stuff? Check out our ACT Trigonometry guide!**