There are a lot of ACT preparation programs available to students and many of them are very good. There are all sorts of strategies one can employ, however nothing replaces the need for experience with the test. The more practice tests you take... the better you will get. Why is this? Although the test is different each time, many of the problems are the same with different numbers or a slightly different wording. The ACT test is not an intelligence test but rather testing you on whether you learned the content and concepts of the material covered in your middle school and high school math classes. Having said this the problems are worded different(the bad news) than you are used to seeing them in math class but they are not any more difficult(the good news). You just need to recognize what they are asking and realize that as you progress through the test they go progressively from 1 step to 2 step to 3 step problems - not all of them can be done in just one step. I've helped many students with the math portion of the ACT and I have them do practice tests on their own and we go over the problems they are missing and work on understanding those types of problems better. I helped one student that was on the borderline of getting into MSU. He was motivated so he did practice test after practice test. All in all, he took dozens and dozens of tests in the 50 - 60 range or more. He just kept taking them 3-4 per week and he kept getting better and better. So you don't have to be fanatical but figure out a regular practice schedule that you can maintain and keep with it. Oh and yes, he goes to to MSU now.
Helping students succeed in math for over 15 years. Individualized attention makes the difference!