Three Types of Probability Items to Expect on the ACT Math Test
You walk into the testing site and sit down, nervous but confident. You know you’ve prepared and you’re ready to give the ACT one last shot. You are sure this will result in your best your score yet. The English test is no problem. You open the math test and begin working, but something has changed…
Modifications to the ACT Math Test
Maybe you haven’t heard, but ACT announced test-takers could look forward to “the inclusion of additional statistics and probability items in the mathematics test” (Source: ACT FAQ). ACT hasn’t released volumes of materials on the changes, but the last two released exams contained in the Preparing-for-the-ACT Guides are consistent with the announced changes and provide the best clues we have on the amendments. We have divided the following items into three categories. The items are provided to give you examples of the ways you can expect ACT to test probability. These are screenshots from the ACT’s booklets, not the property of 36 University.
Item Type 1: Basic Probability Items
These items require you to apply the basic probability formula:
P(A) = (# of events corresponding to A/ total # of possible events)
Item Type 2: Probability from Graphs
These items require you to utilize your graph reading skills and basic probability concepts.
Item Type 3: Probability of Multiple Events
Multiple events probability items ask you take one additional step. Often, that means you’ll just need to multiply the probabilities of each event. Here are examples:
Wrapping It Up
The good news is these items aren’t that complicated and are likely to replace more difficult items. These changes may mean it’s time for you to brush up on basic probability, especially since ACT may begin testing these concepts in more challenging ways.
Do you want to see these items worked? Check out our follow-up post. For more practice, check out the online Sample Items published by ACT. Specifically, try Set 3 Item #2.
Recent & Related Posts:
Post Follow-up: Working the New ACT Math Probability Items
Origami: Sharpen Visual-Spatial Skills & Boost Your ACT Math Score
Your Week-Before-the-ACT Game Plan (Part 4 of 4: Science)
Your Week-Before-the-ACT Game Plan (Part 3 of 4: Reading)
Your Week-Before-the-ACT Game Plan (Part 2 of 4: Math)