# You Won’t Believe This Hack of a “Difficult” ACT Math Problem

**ACT MATH**

The ACT Math section is a fast-paced, 60-questions-in-60-minutes test of students’ high school mathematics knowledge and proficiency. Because the section increases in difficulty as you progress toward number 60, you can expect that the last 10 questions will be challenging. Sometimes, though, the problems in this part of the section only *appear* to be tough; you might not believe how simple some actually are.

**THE "PROBLEM"**

A tough coordinate geometry problem showed up as #50 on the 2014 June ACT. On its surface, it seems to require students to be very comfortable with linear equations and operations. Here’s how you could solve it if you were to take a “comprehensive” approach. (Give the video a full watch, even if you don’t consider yourself a “math” person.)

As you could tell, that takes a long time (even when not explained in painstaking detail). It would hardly make sense to expend so much effort on a problem when others can be solved so much more quickly. Or can they? Here’s the hack.

Mind blown. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? As long as you see what’s really going on with line *b*, you can nail the problem in about 30 seconds.

**LOOK FOR THE HACK**

Strategy is big on standardized exams, and any little bit you can do to optimize your pace will help you raise your score. While many "tricks" are gimmicky or overrated, using the answer choices to quickly expose the single possible answer is a great way to get a leg up.

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