Our classes are entirely online, and they're taught by ACT experts. If you find that there is no way to find an answer to a problem without a calculator (basically, if you need to do something more than basic calculations, which we will discuss later in this guide), you are on the wrong track! Want to join an SAT or ACT group class? Do some practice problems with your calculator at home before you take your official test. It’s important to be versatile. Knowing tips, tricks, and hacks for your graphing calculator and downloading useful programs for your TI calculator will give you an edge on the competition. You will only ever be asked to: And, even so, you'll only need to express a number to an exponent in a way that someone without a calculator could also do. For the ACT, you can bring any calculator that does NOT have computer algebra system (CAS) functionality. In this case, think of them as marbles. First, I'll go through specific tips for each of the five sections (English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing). The last thing you want to do is waste precious time fiddling with a device you don’t know how to operate. A very common topic on the SAT and ACT is solving systems of equations. In terms of calculator use for the ACT, familiarity is better than gadgetry. 5 ACT® Math Hacks: Best Tips, Tricks and Strategies 1. You are NOT allowed to bring any kind of laptop, phone, tablet, or PDA to use as a calculator. Quadratic equations can be displayed in the form ax^2+bx+c, which reveals some information about the graph of the function at a glance (such as whether it opens upward or downward, whether there is horizontal shift and if so how much, and the y-intercept). They specifically mention that it is not enough to disable these programs—they must be fully removed. Take some time to learn how to graph functions and how to gather data about the functions that you graph. Plugging in the wrong values (or forgetting that crucial negative sign or parentheses) can make all the difference between a right and a wrong answer. The quadratic formula is “Negative B plus or minus the square root of B squared minus 4ac all over 2a.” It’s used to reveal the x-intercepts of a quadratic equation, also called the “roots” or “zeros” of the function (because the x-intercepts occur when y = 0). ACT Score Calculator. Always keep this information in mind as you go through the test: a calculator isn't technically needed for the test. Though you'll only ever need to perform basic calculations for the test, it's much less time consuming (and often far more accurate!) $√18=3√2$). But make sure to always double check your input line (the part where you type into your calculator) before you calculate the results! Aiming for a perfect score? You CANNOT have anything that makes noise or can communicate with another device. It’s vitally important to memorize the quadratic formula, as some questions on the SAT’s No Calculator Math section require you to use this equation, but when seeking to find the x-intercepts of a quadratic on the Calculator Math section or on the ACT (which allows a calculator), a quadratic formula program on your calculator could be indispensable. Exception: If you can remove all power/electrical cords for the test, you can use it. For more SAT and ACT math tips, tricks, and hacks, as well as a wealth of SAT and ACT prep tips, check out the rest of our blog. It’s important to know how to factor without using a calculator for the SAT’s No-Calculator Math section, but for the ACT and the SAT’s Calculator Math section, why not let your calculator do the heavy lifting? SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination BoardTM. To find out, you can use algebra (substitution, elimination) or you can let your calculator do the solving for you. 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