Smart Pacing: When to Slow Down in ACT Math

By Steven Darby - February 19, 2024

The ACT Math section is a race against the clock, and many students find themselves in a dilemma: the need for speed versus the importance of precision. Striking the right balance between these two factors can significantly impact your child's performance in this crucial section. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of smart pacing in ACT Math and why it's essential for your child to slow down on questions they already know how to solve. This strategic approach can help students avoid careless mistakes while efficiently managing their time.

The Time Challenge in ACT Math:

The ACT Math section consists of 60 questions to be completed in just 60 minutes. This tight time constraint often leads students to rush through problems, potentially sacrificing accuracy for speed. While it's vital to maintain a steady pace, it's equally crucial to recognize when slowing down can be a strategic advantage.

The Importance of Precision:

  1. Careless Mistakes: Rushing through questions can lead to careless mistakes that cost valuable points. These errors are often avoidable if students take the time to double-check their work.

  2. Maintaining Accuracy: Accuracy is paramount in ACT Math. Even if your child can solve a problem quickly, a small slip-up can result in an incorrect answer. Slowing down ensures they arrive at the right solution.

The Smart Pacing Strategy:

  1. Identify Familiar Questions: Encourage your child to recognize questions they are confident in solving. These are the ones where they have a clear understanding of the concepts involved and can proceed with confidence.

  2. Take a Breath: When your child encounters a familiar question, advise them to take a moment to breathe and relax. Rushing can lead to stress and anxiety, which can hinder performance.

  3. Double-Check Work: After solving the problem, encourage your child to double-check their work. Have them go through their calculations or re-read the problem to ensure they haven't missed any critical details.

  4. Time Management: While slowing down is essential for precision, it's also crucial to manage time effectively. Remind your child to keep an eye on the clock and not spend too much time on a single question.

  5. Mark and Return: If a question proves to be time-consuming or challenging, advise your child to mark it and return to it later. This prevents them from getting stuck and allows them to tackle other questions first.

Smart pacing in ACT Math is all about finding the right balance between speed and precision. Slowing down on questions your child already knows how to solve is a strategic move that can help them avoid careless mistakes while managing their time efficiently. At Peak Learning Solutions DTC, we understand the significance of pacing strategies, and our expert tutors are dedicated to helping your child master these valuable techniques. By equipping them with the skills to approach ACT Math strategically, we ensure their success in this critical section of the test and beyond.

Peak Learning Solutions DTC is your gateway to academic achievement. Whether your child needs support in algebra, calculus, statistics, chemistry, biology, history, or AP courses, we provide personalized tutoring and teaching designed to ensure success. Our certified teachers excel in enhancing metacognition and executive functioning skills, setting your child on the path to excellence. Contact our local, small business today at 720-737-9221 or visit to take the first step toward educational success. We proudly serve students from neighboring schools, including Cherry Creek High School, George Washington High School, Our Lady of Loreto, Chatfield High School, Chaparral High School, Arapahoe High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School.

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