Skip to main content

3 Tips to Prepare for ACT Geometry Questions


“Hmmm… What’s the equation for this?”  

“I don’t remember a thing from geometry class.”

These two statements might sound like the soundtrack to your ACT Math prep life. Luckily, with these 3 geometry prep tips, you won’t have to worry about memorizing equations or remembering too much from geometry class. You’ll be good to go with the majority of ACT geometry problems.

1. Draw like Picasso!

The ACT makers think they’re being clever when they don’t give you pictures for a geometry problem. When practicing, the test booklet is your playground. If you don’t feel comfortable free-handing straight lines, a second pencil will do just fine as a straightedge – and if you turn your pencil into a ruler by marking evenly spaced lines on it, I promise I won’t tell.  

P.s. after all that drawing, look for a triangle. Eh hem, it’s probably Pythagorean theorem.

2. Radius, radius, radius: it’s the new black.

If you’re looking at a circle problem and it feels hard, just think ‘radius.’ For every circle question, draw the radius, and spin it around the circle like the second-hand on a Swiss watch. When the radius hits a key place in your diagram it’ll usually open the door to all the information you need.  

3. Triangles need another shout out.

Not sure how many degrees are in a something-agon?  Can’t remember the equation for a trapezoid or parallelogram? Practice dissecting the diagram into smaller triangles. For the total degrees in a something-agon, multiply the triangles by 180.  For trapezoid and parallelogram area problems, it’s all triangles and rectangles. Chances are you’ll have the answer before you know it. And if you can’t get a single answer, process of elimination is your best friend.

The Compass Team

Compass is one of the world's leading providers of in-home and online, live one-on-one tutoring for high school students aspiring to attend selective colleges.

Leave a Reply