ACT: No. You can’t trust the figures.
SAT: Yes, unless they tell you otherwise. Beneath some pictures on the SAT, you’ll find the phrase: “Note: Figure not drawn to scale.” If you see this, naturally the figure can’t be trusted. If you don’t see that disclaimer, then the FIGURE IS DRAWN TO SCALE! 100%, perfectly drawn to scale. Most figures on the SAT don’t contain the disclaimer, and are therefore perfectly accurate. Students can often eliminate wrong answer choices just by eye-balling the figure. Is it the best method? No. But if you’re running low on time, or can’t figure out the correct math, an educated guess based on an accurate picture is a lot better than a random guess.
Submitted by our Founder & fellow Tutor – Ryan Fitzgibbons