Prep Books

Best ACT Prep Books of 2020 (Complete Reviews & Study Guide)

Cracking the ACT exam and gaining admission into the college of your choice is a cup of tea!

You might be thinking; Is it really that easy?

It surely is.

You just need the right ACT prep book, hard work and strong determination to crack the exam. 

How do you know whether a study guide is right for you?

For that, I’m here to help. Following are my comprehensive reviews of the best ACT exam prep books. Go through the reviews and decide which prep book is best for you.

First, let's look at the comparison table of the best ACT prep books below!

Publisher

Book Name

No. of Pages

Practice Tests

​Check Price

ACT

barron's act

864

7

1600+questions

Barron's

act prep plus

864

5

5 practice exams

Kaplan

barron's 36

936

5

1000+ questions

Barron's

cracking the act premium

336

-

8 practice exams

The Princeton Review

act prep black book

832

6

ACT Prep Books

up your score:act the underground guide

630

3

Workman Publishing

mc graw hill's 50 skills for maths

368

-

2 online test extra

Manhattan Prep

manhattan 5 lb. book

1,164

-

1800 practice questions

McGraw Hill

mc graw hill education act

192

-

6 practice exams

McGraw Hill

688

8

ACT

1088

5

You can also check the complete review of the Best ACT prep Books!

Let's Go.

10 Best ACT Prep Books of 2018
The Official ACT Prep Pack 2019-2020 with 7 Full Practice Tests

The Official ACT Prep Pack 2018-2019

The official Act prep guide – Best overall Act Prep Book

The official Act Prep guide is one of the top-rated ACT prep books.

You wonder what makes it the best. ​Let me explain:

The official ACT Prep Pack is the best-selling study guide for the students who are preparing for the ACT exam. This guide is the only official prep guide written by the certified exam makers. It contains real test questions taken from previous official exams. You won’t be stumped by any questions on ACT exam day because there won’t be any that you see for the first time. The official study guide leads you step by step from registration to your score report, and explains effective test-taking strategies.

The ACT exam is a bit weird and will test concepts in ways you have never seen before. It simply means you need to train yourself with realistic questions so you can learn the patterns of this exam. This ACT prep guide comes with six full-length practice tests. The tests allow you to learn the ACT tips and tricks, and strategies you need to use in the exam. The book and online content includes actual ACT test forms.

This Act prep book also contains additional questions and material that includes articles on every topic. Topics start with preparing a college application and getting into your top school of choice, and end with succeeding in college. The Official ACT Prep Pack contains data on scoring well in your writing test. New reporting categories and tips on how to prepare for the exam and score high are also mentioned. The official guide offers an additional 400 practice questions that are available online.

The limitation of this ACT prep book is that some questions are from the old guide, which refers to old question patterns. The advantage is that those questions are still appropriate for the newer version of the exam. Regardless of these limitations, it's still the best test preparation book overall in our list.

The limitation of this Act Prep Book is some of the questions are from the old guide who refers to old pattern of the examination but the advantage is those questions are still appropriate for the version of the exam. The current version of the guide has less practice tests than in the old version. With these limitations it is still best overall test preparation book.

​​Highlights:

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    The official ACT prep guide is the best prep book.
    The official Act prep guide is the best Act Prep Book.
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    The official ACT prep guide is made by certified exam makers.
    The official act prep guide is made by the certified exam makers.
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    Questions are similar to actual test questions on the ACT exam.
    As it is made by the certified exam makers questions will be similar to the questions asked in the exam.
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    Explanations of the answers and concepts are concise and to the point.
    The explanations of the answers and concept are concise and to the point.
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    This ACT practice book will provide you with six full-length practice tests.
    This Act Prep Book will provide you three full length practice test.
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    This ACT guide offers online bonus content.
    This act guide will provide online bonus content.
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    This study guide will provide you with ACT tips and strategies from the mindset of exam creators.
    This study guide will provide you tips and strategies from mindset of the exam creators.
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    Some of the questions in this Act prep book are taken from the old guide, but are still relevant for the current exam.
    Some of the questions in this Act Prep Book are taken from the old guide which will have old version of the exam but still some questions are good for current exam.
​Highlights

​Pros:

  • thumbs-up
    This ACT prep book provides you with the best set of practice tests.
    This Act Prep Book will provide you best set of practice tests.
  • thumbs-up
    This ACT prep book provides you with six full-length practice tests, which are sufficient for practice and can boost your confidence.
    This Act Prep Book will provide you three full length practice tests which are sufficient for practice and boost up your confidence.
  • thumbs-up
    Answers to each question are available in the book.
    Answer of each question is available in the book itself.
  • thumbs-up
    This ACT prep guide provides additional online bonus content.
    This act prep guide provides additional online bonus content.
  • thumbs-up
    This study guide is made by the official exam makers, so the questions will be similar to the actual test questions.
    This study guide is made by the official exam makers so the questions will be similar to the test questions.
  • thumbs-up
    Answer explanations are concise and direct.
    Answer explanations are in details and concise.
  • thumbs-up
    Questions in this ACT prep book are at an appropriate difficulty level.
    Questions given in this Act Prep Book are of appropriate difficulty level.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    Tests are a mixture of old and new material.
    Tests are mixture of old material and new material.

​Conclusion:

The Official Act Prep Pack is informally called the ACT Red Book. This is the only book written by the certified exam makers. The questions in this book are similar to what you'll find in the ACT exam. Though the book has some limitations, we still recommend it as  the best ACT prep book overall for your test preparation.

This Act Prep Book is informally called as red book. This is the only book which is written by the certified exam makers. The questions in this book are exam like. The current version of the guide has less practice questions. Though the book has some limitations still we recommend it as best Act Prep Book for overall preparation.
Yea surely it is. You just need right study guide, hard work and strong determination to crack the exam. Now the question comes how to know whether the study guide is right or not? Well for that I’m here to help you. Below I have reviewed the books of the act exam. Just go through it and decide which one is best for you.
Barrons ACT
Barron’s act 2nd edition Review- Best Budget Pick Act Prep Book.

Barron’s ACT provides the best value for your money. It's the best budget pick for ACT prep books. This book has a low price, but still maintains high quality if you're preparing to take the ACT exam.

The additional benefit of this ACT Prep Book is that questions are similar to those in the exam. You won't be shocked with harder questions because you already have practiced and prepared for them. Practicing test questions in Barron's ACT will boost your confidence.

If you're looking for a large amount of content, practice questions and strategies in a single ACT prep book, this book is for you. It is one of the best ACT prep books to clearly guide you to a top score.

The Barron's ACT prep book starts with an introduction to ACT, provides a study plan and then tests you with a diagnostic test to measure your level. It contains about 50 pages for each section, which includes test-taking strategies, skills, and concept questions and practice tests.

The ACT study guide clearly explains the main concepts you'll need to learn for the ACT exam. It also illustrates math concepts like algebra and coordinate geometry. The book also reviews data representation, research summary and questions in the science section.

This ACT practice book offers many suggestions that are unique and can't be found in other study guides. All these strategies will increase your score, but for those who want to score high we would suggest Barron’s 36 because of the more-difficult questions presented. This guide has many benefits and only a few limitations. At a low price, it's definitely a must-have ACT prep book.

A lot of suggestions are given in this Act Prep Book are unique and you can’t find it in any other study guide. All this strategies will increase your score. But for those who want to score high we would suggest Barron’s 36 because it has more difficult questions in it. This Act Prep Book has lot of strength and only few limitations. At low price they are providing best Act Prep Book.

​​Highlights:

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    Barron’s ACT is available at a low price, yet it's of high quality.
    Barron’s act is the book which is available at low price yet a high quality guide to pick.
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    This ACT prep book provides an accurate overview of the actual exam and answers many frequently asked questions.
    This Act Prep Book will provide an overview of the act exam and answers to the frequently asked question.
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    It includes chapters on test-taking and how to manage your mind during the ACT test.
    This Act Prep Book includes chapter on test taking mindset and how to manage your mind in test.
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    It provides five full-length tests with answer explanations.
    It provides three full length tests with answer explanations.
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    It provides extensive reviews on all subjects.
    It provides extensive reviews on all the subjects.
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    It provides test-taking strategies for students.
    It provides test taking strategies for students.
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    It recommends study plans based on time available for preparation.
    This act guide will also recommend study plans on the basis of time available for preparation.
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    ​It provides over 1600 practice questions.
    It provides over 1600 practice questions.
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    It provides easy, medium and hard level passages that will allow students to customize their study.
    This Act Prep Book provides easy, medium and hard level passage which will enable students to customize their study.
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    It offers many strategies and suggestions that are are unique and not found in other ACT prep books.
    Lot of strategies and suggestions provided in this Act Prep Book are unique and not found in any other book.
​Highlights

​Pros:

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    Questions in this ACT prep book are like questions asked in the exam.
    Questions given in this Act Prep Book are like the questions asked in the exam.
  • thumbs-up
    The book provides 1600 practice questions.
    This Act Prep Book provides 1600 practice questions.
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    Strategies and suggestions are unique and are not found in other ACT prep books.
    Strategies and suggestions given in this book are unique and will not be found in any other books.
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    The guide has good flow and organization.
    It has good work flow and organization.

​Cons:

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    There are a few hard questions in this ACT prep book.
    There are very few hard questions in this Act Prep Book
  • thumbs-down
    The writing section still references the old version of the ACT test.
    Writing section has still references of the old version of the Act Prep Book.

​Conclusion:

Barron’s ACT has the best value and is a budget pick for the ACT exam. The book is available at a low price, but is still of high quality. The questions in this study guide are similar to ones in the actual test. For those who want to score high, we recommend Barron's 36 for practicing difficult questions. Barron’s has many strengths and very few limitations.

Barron’s act is the best value and best budget pick for act prep exam. The book is available at low price but it is still a high quality guide. The questions given in this study guide are exam like. But those who want to score high we will recommend Barron’s 36 for practicing difficult questions. Barron’s has lot of strength and very few limitations.
Kaplan ACT Prep Plus 2019

Kaplan ACT Prep Plus 2019

Kalpan Act Prep Plus- Best exam review guide

Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus is one of the best ACT prep books that provide an appropriate section review and guides you in the right direction. It is one of the longest ACT prep books and gives very good explanations of answers so that you won’t be confused or frustrated while practicing questions.

Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus includes expert strategies, online practices and video tutorials that help you crack the exam. You'll be able to face the exam with confidence.

Kaplan is an official partner for live online prep for the ACT test. Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus provides proper guidance and guarantee that after studying with online resources, you'll score high in the ACT . Otherwise, you get your money back. You're able to log in from any place to watch videos, lessons, complete quizzes and practice tests.

Kaplan ACT prep also has a feature called "smart points" that tells you which questions are asked more in the exam. This allows you to focus on those portions of the ACT exam that are important and frequently asked in the exams. “Smart points” helps you save time while studying for the exam because you already know which questions are the most important.

Kaplan prep has a lot of information, but some of strategies take time to understand and will actually take a long time to effectively apply in the actual test. Some questions in the study guide are easier than questions in the exam. English and reading sections are easier than the actual test. Math and science are also easy.

Kaplan’s has lot of information but some of strategies take time to understand and will actually take long time to apply on the actual test and will not be useful during exam. Some of the questions in the study guide are easier than the questions in the exam. English and reading sections are easier than the actual test. Math and science are also quite easier.

​​Highlights:

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    Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus provides 4 full-length practice tests online with detailed explanations of the answers.
    This Act Prep Book provides 4 full length practice tests online also with detailed explanations of the answer.
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    It also provides one full-length practice test for easy reference and review.
    It also provides one full length practice tests in this Act Prep Book for the easy reference and review.
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    Scoring and analysis for one official ACT test is also provided in this Act Prep Book.
    One scoring and analysis for one official act test will also be provided by this Act Prep Book.
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    It offers an online center with additional practice, quizzes and videos to guide your studies.
    This best Act Prep Book is an online center with additional practice, quizzes and videos which will help you to guide your study.
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    It has a system of "smart points" that will help you earn more points by guiding you on the most important topics and question types in the ACT exam.
    This best Act Prep Book has a system of smart points which will help you to earn the most points by guiding you in the most important topics and question types in the exam.
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    It provides strategies and advice from students who received perfect scores in the past.
    It provides strategies and advice from the past students who got perfect score in the past.
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    It provides perfect score tips from top ACT instructors.
    This study guide also provides perfect score tips from the top act instructors.
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    Kaplan’s best tutors review the most important concepts in short video tutorials.
    The best tutors of Kaplan’s will review the most important concepts in short video tutorials.
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    Kaplan is the official partner for live online prep for ACT. It will provide proper guidance and guarantee.
    Kalpan is the official partner for live online prep for the ACT. It will provide proper guidance and guarantee.
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    Some strategies will take a long time to understand and may not be useful on exam day.
    Some strategies will take long time to understand and will not be useful on exam day
​Highlights

​Pros:

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    The answer explanations in Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus are good and detailed.
    The answer explanations provided in this Act Prep Book is good and in detail.
  • thumbs-up
    The "smart points" system is very useful in knowing what question types you should focus on.
    The system of smart points will be very useful in knowing what question types you should focus on.
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    Kaplan tutors review concepts in short videos.
    Reviewing the concept in short video by best tutors.
  • thumbs-up
    Kaplan’s live online prep provides a money back guarantee.
    Kaplan’s live online prep will provide money back guarantee.
  • thumbs-up
    Additional practice, quizzes and videos guide in your study.
    Additional practice, quizzes and videos will help you to guide in your study.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Strategies and advice from past students.
    Strategies and advice from past students.
  • thumbs-up
    This ACT prep book is affordable.
    This Act Prep Book is affordable.
  • thumbs-up
    The book covers all four sections and provides full-length practice tests.
    Covers all the four sections and provides full length practice tests.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    Some strategies take too long.
    Some strategies take too long time.
  • thumbs-down
    ​Some questions are too easy.
    Some questions are too easy.

​Conclusion:

Kaplan's Act Prep Book covers all sections and contains practice questions and tests. It covers the most important concepts but it won’t excel in every topic. It has reasonable content when compared to any other book. I won’t recommend the book if you want to improve your ACT score but if you want a single source then you can go with this ACT Prep Book.

Kalpan Act Prep Book covers all the section and contains practice questions and tests. It will cover most important bases but it won’t excel in every topics. It has reasonable content than in any other books. I won’t recommend you the book if you want to improve your act score but if you want a single source then you can go with this Act Prep Book.
Barrons ACT 36
Barron’s 36 3rd Edition review top pick for high scorers.

Barron’s 36 is a great Act prep book for those who want to score high. It contains a lot of questions that are harder than questions in the ACT test. This means you will be prepared to answer any question other students may skip.

This ACT prep book offers advice and strategies for cracking the most difficult ACT questions. It also provides extra-challenging practice tests in English, Math, Reading, Science and the optional Writing test. For boosting your science score, it gives special tips. It also provides detailed advice on how to write a winning easy. Finally, the authors provide instructions on reading effectively.

The book can be purchased with an optional CD-ROM that includes a full-length ACT practice test which closely matches the actual ACT exam. The CD-ROM also includes 50 extra-difficult questions with answers.

This ACT prep book offers advanced ACT tips and tricks, and concepts not found in other study guides. These advanced strategies and concepts will help you score high in the exam.

Barron's 36 is best for scoring high in the exam. If you're taking the exam for the first time, we recommend that you also purchase another overall review guide. This ACT Prep Book does not include things like basic test-taking strategies and tips to avoid common errors people generally make on the exam.

This ACT study guide provides only one full-length practice test. Even though it has some limitations, it's on our list for high scorers.

This act study guide doesn’t provide any full length practice tests like many other books provide practice tests that are required to boost up your confidence. Even though it has its own limitations still it is the best Act Prep Book for high scorers.

​​Highlights:

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    Barron’s ACT 36 is for the high scorers.
    Barron’s act 36 is completely for the high scorers.
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    It provides strategies and concepts not found in any other ACT prep book.
    This Act Prep Book provides strategies and concepts which will be not found in any other Act Prep Books.
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    It provides advice and strategies for cracking the most difficult questions.
    It provides advices and strategies for cracking the most difficult questions.
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    It provides extra-challenging practice questions for all test areas that include English, Math, Reading, Science and the optional Writing test.
    It provides extra challenging practice questions for all the test areas i.e. English, math, reading, science and the optional writing test.
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    ​It provides instructions on how to read effectively and retentively.
    It provides instructions on how to read effectively and retentively.
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    It provides special tips for boosting your score in the science section.
    It will provide special tips for boosting your score in science section.
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    ​It​ provides detailed advice on writing an excellent essay.
    It will provide detailed advice on writing an excellent essay.
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    It comes with an optional CD-ROM that has one full-length practice test.
    This Act Prep Book comes with an option of CD ROM which will also include full length practice test.
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    It does not include things like basic test-taking strategies.
    This Act Prep Book will not include things like basic test taking strategy
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    It doesn’t include strategies for common errors test takers usually make in the exam.
    It doesn’t include strategies for common errors which generally people will make in exam.
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    It provides only one full length practice test.
    This act study guide doesn’t provide any full length practice tests like many other books provide practice tests.
​Highlights

​Pros:

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    Lots of difficult questions.
    Lot of difficult questions.
  • thumbs-up
    Advanced strategies and concepts not found in other books.
    Advanced strategies and concepts which are not found in any other books.
  • thumbs-up
    Advice and strategies for cracking the most difficult questions.
    Advices and strategies for cracking the most difficult questions.
  • thumbs-up
    Extra-challenging practice questions for all test areas, including English, Math, Reading, Science and the optional Writing test.
    Extra challenging practice questions for all the test areas i.e. English, math, reading, science and the optional writing test.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Instructions on how to read effectively and retentively.
    Instructions on how to read effectively and retentively.
  • thumbs-up
    Special tips for boosting your score in the Science section.
    Special tips for boosting your score in science section.
  • thumbs-up
    Detailed advice on writing an excellent essay.
    Detailed advice on writing a excellent essay.
  • thumbs-up
    Comes with an optional CD-ROM.
    This Act Prep Book comes with an option of CD ROM.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    Doesn’t include basic test-taking strategies.
    Doesn’t include things like basic test taking strategy.
  • thumbs-down
    Doesn’t include strategies for common errors made on the test.
    Doesn’t include strategies for common errors which generally people will make in exam.
  • thumbs-down
    Provides only one full-length practice test.
    Doesn’t provide any full length practice tests like many other books provide practice tests.

​Conclusion:

The Barron's ACT 36 prep book is for high scorers. If you're taking the exam for the first time, I suggest that you purchase another overall review book. The Barron's ACT 36 study guide doesn’t include basic test-taking strategies and tips for cracking the most common errors. This guide comes at a low price and is only recommended for those who want to score high.

This Act Prep Book is for high scorers but if you are giving the exam for the very first time I will also suggest you to purchase another overall review book because this study guide doesn’t include basic test taking strategies and strategies for common errors. This guide comes at a low price and is only recommended for those who want to score high.
Cracking The ACT

Cracking The ACT

Princeton review cracking the act premium edition-all in one solution.

Cracking the ACT is the all-in-one solution to getting a high score in the ACT exam. The big advantage of this best prep ACT book is it will simplify the basics and make it easy for you to learn of all of the subjects. You won’t be frustrated or get confused about certain review topics.

This comprehensive traditional Act prep book provides a full review of concept, practice questions and techniques. It offers in-depth coverage of math and science sections, but not the English and reading sections.

Cracking the ACT study guide covers math concepts and important grammar rules you need to know for the exam. It also provides ways to use the process of elimination, and offers ACT tips about the order in which to answer questions to save time and help you decide which questions to answer.

Every section in this ACT prep book has sample questions. The book provides six full practice tests: four of them in the book itself and two online. The study guide is good at basics, but some concepts will be difficult to group with the help of this book alone.

The explanation of English grammar concepts in this prep book is fine, but lacks thoroughness. The reading section has good strategies.

The practice tests given in this Act prep book are generally easier than in the actual ACT test. The practice questions aren’t official, which means you will be unprepared for the exam.

The practice tests given in this Act Prep Book are generally easier than the actual test. And also the practice questions aren’t official. This will make you unprepared for the exam.

​​Highlights:

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    This study guide is all-in-one solution book.
    This study guide is all in one solution book.
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    It includes 8 full-length practice tests, topic reviews, a DVD and access to an online premium portal.
    This Act Prep Book will include 8 full length practice test, topic reviews, DVD and access to online premium portal.
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    It provides techniques to crack the ACT exam.
    It will provide techniques to crack the exam.
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    It provides techniques to logically guess the answer.
    It will provide techniques to logically guess the answer.
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    It provides strategies to help you work smarter, not harder.
    This Act Prep Book will provide strategies which will help you to work smarter not harder.
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    It completely covers all the test topics.
    It will completely cover all the test topics.
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    It provides bulleted chapter summaries at the end of each chapter, which will be helpful for quick revision.
    At the end of each chapter it will provide bulleted chapter summaries which will be helpful for quick revision.
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    It provides 8 full-length practice tests: 4 in the book and 4 online.
    It provides 8 full length practice test out of which 4 are in the book and 4 are online.
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    Practice tests come with full detailed explanations of answers.
    Practice tests will come with full detailed explanations of answers.
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    It provides instant score reports for online tests and optional live graders for essay scoring.
    It will also provide instant score reports for online tests and optional live grader for essay scoring.
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    Online access portal provides video tutorials with the advice of experts.
    Online access portal will provide video tutorials with the advice of experts.
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    Online access portal helps you prepare customized multi-week study plans.
    Online access portal will help you to prepare customized multi week study plans.
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    Online access portal provides access to college and university ranking.
    Online access portal will provide access to college and university ranking.
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    English grammar concepts in this Act prep book lacks thoroughness.
    English grammar given in this Act Prep Book lacks thoroughness.
​Highlights

​Pros:

  • thumbs-up
    8 full-length practice test, topic reviews, DVD and access to online premium portal.
    8 full length practice test, topic reviews, DVD and access to online premium portal.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Techniques to crack the exam.
    Techniques to crack the exam.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Techniques to logically guess the answer.
    Techniques to logically guess the answer.
  • thumbs-up
    Completely covers all the test topics.
    Completely cover all the test topics.
  • thumbs-up
    Bulleted chapter summaries are helpful for quick revision.
    Bulleted chapter summaries which will be helpful for quick revision.
  • thumbs-up
    Practice tests come with full detailed explanations of answers.
    Practice tests will come with full detailed explanations of answers.
  • thumbs-up
    Online access portal provides video tutorials.
    Online access portal will provide video tutorials.
  • thumbs-up
    Online access portal help you to prepare customized multi-week study plans.
    Online access portal will help you to prepare customized multi week study plans.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    ​Reading section questions are somewhat easier.
    Reading section questions are somewhat easier.
  • thumbs-down
    English grammar concepts in this Act prep book lack thoroughness.
    English grammar given in this Act Prep Book lacks thoroughness
  • thumbs-down
    Practice questions aren’t official.
    The practice questions aren’t official.

​Conclusion:

Cracking the Act Prep Book is good at simplifying the basics and making it easy to learn all the subjects. You won’t get confused or frustrated ith certain topics. It has a clean layout and is very easy to follow. I would recommend that you purchase another Act prep book if you want to learn things beyond the basics.

This Act Prep Book is good at simplifying the basics and making easy to learn all the subjects. You won’t get confused or frustrated in certain topics. It has clean layout and will be very easy to follow. I would recommend you to purchase other Act Prep Book if you want to learn the things beyond the basics.
ACT Black Book
Act prep black book- most effective act strategies.

The Act Prep Black Book focuses on important strategies to crack the different level of ACT exam questions. It provides you with unique and effective ACT strategies from Mike Barrett. Barrett is an ACT tutor who has clients across the world who pay him hundreds of dollars for an hour of phone tutoring.

This ACT practice book helps to work on the weakness and timing issues a student will face during the exam. It teaches you the general process for answering ACT test questions. It will also teach you techniques and strategies to answer math questions. It advises on how to tackle the English questions. It less concerned about teaching you the skills and more focused on how the test will work.

Ideas offered in this Act prep book will motivate you to work harder. Strategies given in the book are more helpful because you will learn not to only depend on ACT tricks. The book treats every student as different. Therefore, it provides alternative strategies and suggests you try them to know which one will work best for you.

Answer explanations in this study guide are detailed and the author finds the best approach to explain answers to each question. The book helps you use ACT’s design and flaws to gain a better score. It is clear and concise. It explains how every question works and how to crack ACT questions in the least amount of time.

Question explanations are based on the old 3rd edition of the red book. If you have that book, it will be difficult or impossible to use this black Act prep book. Most explanations of the questions cover the hardest questions in the red book. If you are scoring low on these questions, these explanations will seem confusing.

If you are weak in any particular area, this book alone will not help you to master that area. For example, if you are weak in algebra then you will need another Act prep book as a supplement to master that area. The science and English sections of this Act prep book are not as strong as the reading and math sections. The English section is less about understanding and more about mastering grammar rules.

If you are weak in any particular area the book alone will not help you to master that area. For e.g. if you are weak in algebra then you will need any other Act Prep Book as a supplement to master in that area. The science section and English section of this Act Prep Book are not as strong as reading and maths section are. Because English is less about understanding and more about mastering grammar rules.

​​Highlights:

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    The Act Prep Black Book is written by Mike Barrett.
    This Act Prep Book is written by Mike Barrett.
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    ​This study guide focuses more on strategies.
    This study guide focuses more on strategies.
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    This study guide will help students with timing issues they may face during the ACT exam. 
    Student will face timing issues during the exam this study guide will help to work on it.
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    It teaches you strategies to answer math and English questions.
    It will also teach you strategies to answer maths and English questions.
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    It motivates you to work harder for act exams.
    This Act Prep Book will motivate you to work harder for act exams.
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    It helps you learn to not only depend on ACT tricks.
    This study guide will help you to learn to not only depend on the tricks.
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    It suggests alternative strategies for different students.
    This Act Prep Book suggests different alternatives of strategies for different students.
  • check
    Answer explanations are detailed for the toughest question.
    The answer explanations are in detail for the toughest question.
  • check
    It helps you to use ACT’s design and flaws to gain a better score.
    It will help you to use act’s design and flaws against it to gain more score.
  • check
    Question explanations are based on the old 3rd edition of the red book.
    Question explanations are on the basis of the old 3rd edition of the red book.
  • check
    If you are weak in any particular area, the book alone will not help you to master that area.
    If you are weak in any particular area the book alone will not help you to master that area.
  • check
    The science and English sections of this Act prep book are not as strong as the reading and math sections.
    The science section and English section of this Act Prep Book are not as strong as reading and maths section are.
​Highlights

​Pros:

  • thumbs-up
    ​Focuses on strategies.
    Focuses on strategies.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Motivates you to work harder.
    Motivates you to work harder.
  • thumbs-up
    Helps you to work on timing issues.
    Help you to work on timing issues.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Teaches you the general process of answering questions.
    Teaches you the general process of answering questions.
  • thumbs-up
    Helps you learn to not only depend on the tricks.
    Help you to learn to not only depend on the tricks.
  • thumbs-up
    Offers alternative strategies for different students.
    Different alternatives of strategies for different students.
  • thumbs-up
    Provides detailed answer explanations for the toughest questions.
    Detailed answer explanation for the toughest question.
  • thumbs-up
    Helps you use ACT’s design and flaws against it.
    Helps you to use act’s design and flaws against it.
  • thumbs-up
    The book is clear and concise.
    The Act Prep Book is clear and concise.
  • thumbs-up
    Explains how the every question works and how to crack the question in the least possible time.
    Explains you how the every question works and how to crack the question in the least possible time.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    Question explanations are based on the old 3rd edition of the red book.
    Question explanations are on the basis of the old 3rd edition of the red book.
  • thumbs-down
    If you are weak in any particular area, the book alone will not help you to master that area.
    If you are weak in any particular area the book alone will not help you to master that area.
  • thumbs-down
    The science and English sections are not as strong as the reading and math sections are.
    The science section and English section of this Act Prep Book are not as strong as reading and maths section are.
  • thumbs-down
    ​Lacks fundamental content.
    Lacks fundamental content.

​Conclusion:

The Act Prep Black Book is the only critical book which I can recommend. You cannot only use this Act prep book. You will need another guide as a supplement. Moreover, the book has not been updated since 2014. This prep book will teach you a lot, but it will take a lot of time and energy. It is for students who are willing to understand the ACT exam and how it works.

Act prep black book is only the critical book which I can recommend but you cannot use this Act Prep Book you will need any other guide as a supplement. Moreover the book has not been updated since 2014. This Act Prep Book will teach you a lot but it will take a lot of time and energy in it. This book is for the students who are willing to understanding the act and how it works.
Up Your Score ACT

Up Your Score ACT

Up your score Act- the underground guide.

Up Your Score is the Act prep book that is an alternative to big, bad, boring Act prep books. Up Your Score is the underground Act Prep Book for those million kids who take the ACT every year. Up Your Score: ACT is written by Chris Arp, who is a Princeton graduate.

This prep book offers a fun approach to preparing for the ACT exam. It explains the ACT format and concepts in a humorous way so you can easily remember them and provides some test-taking strategies.

The book also deals with the issues of stress and pressure students can face during the exam and offers advice to boost your confidence. It is different from traditional prep books. It explains how students can deal with stress and frustration during the ACT test.

The book helps with the ACT reading section by showing you how to develop the five habits of lean-forward reading. It also shows you how to treat reading like a conversation and how to pay attention to direction words. It help you master the math section by using techniques like "plugging in," which is an amazing trick that will simplify all algebra word problems. ACT exam grammar is a bit tough, so the study guide focus on commas, semicolons, pronouns, transitions, etc. The book covers the science section very well.

This Act Prep Book will help you to develop your readings section by developing the five habits of lean forward reading. It will also include treat reading like a conversation and also pay attention to direction words. It will help you to master the maths section by using techniques like plugging in. plugging in is the amazing trick which will simplify all the algebra word problems. Act exam grammar is bit tough so the study guide focus on commas, semicolons, pronouns, transitions etc. the book covers the science section very well as it is covered in exams.

Highlights:

  • check
    The Up Your Score ACT prep book is an alternative to boring ACT books.
    This Act Prep Book is alternative to boring act books.
  • check
    It offers a fun approach for exam preparation.
    This study guide follows fun approach for exam preparation.
  • check
    It explains the ACT format and concepts in a humorous way.
    The book explains format and concepts in humorous way.
  • check
    It provides test-taking strategies.
    The study guide also provides test taking strategies.
  • check
    It explains how to deal with stress and frustration during exams.
    This book will also explain how to deal with stress and frustration during exams.
  • check
    It offers advice to boost your confidence.
    This Act Prep Book will offer you advice for boosting your confidence.
  • check
    It will not be sufficient because it is your only resource.
    The book will not be sufficient because it is your only resource.
  • check
    It has not been updated for many years.
    The book is not updated since many years so it is not the most current Act Prep Book.
  • check
    It is more like a pre-book that you need to start out studying.
    The study guide is more like a pre book which you need to start out studying.
​Highlights

​Pros:

  • thumbs-up
    ​Alternative to boring act books.
    Alternative to boring act books.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Follows fun approach for exam preparation.
    Follows fun approach for exam preparation.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Explains format and concepts in humorous way.
    Explains format and concepts in humorous way.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Provides test taking strategies.
    Provides test taking strategies.
  • thumbs-up
    Explains how to deal with stress and frustration during exams.
    Explain how to deal with stress and frustration during exams.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Gives advice for boosting your confidence.
    Gives advice for boosting your confidence.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    ​Will not be sufficient because it is your only resource.
    Will not be sufficient because it is your only resource.
  • thumbs-down
    The book has not been updated for many years.
    The book is not updated since many years so it is not the most current Act Prep Book.
  • thumbs-down
    More like a pre-book that you need to start out studying.
    More like a pre book which you need to start out studying.

​Conclusion:

The Up Your Score Act Prep Book is an alternative to boring books. The study guide uses a fun approach for exam preparation. But it has not been updated for many years and will not be a sufficient resource.

This Act Prep Book is alternative to boring books. The study guide uses fun approach for exam preparation. But the book is not updated since many years and it will also not be a sufficient resource to go through.
Top 50 ACT Math Skills
Mc Graw Hill’s top 50 skills for math.

McGraw-Hill’s Top 50 ACT Math Skills for a Top Score is for those who are weak in the ACT math section. This best Act prep book for math is written in an engaging style. This study guide discusses 50 critical math skills you need to know for the ACT exam.

This prep book provides sample questions that illustrate each concept. It is written by an expert who has a lot of experience with SAT and ACT preparation. This study guide offers strategies and concepts you need to know that will help you to raise scores in ACT exam. It is designed to identify your weakness in math and focuses on it. The study guide provides two extra online tests. It also provides an answer book with detailed explanations.

This Act practice book is more focused on teaching the top 50 math skills, but has only a limited number of questions. It will help you to review the concepts, but you will need another book for practice. This prep book is useful to students at all levels, but it only provides ordinary strategies and tips.

This Act Prep Book is more focused in teaching top 50 skills of math but it has only limited number of questions. This study book will help you to review the concepts but you will also need another book for practice. This Act Prep Book is useful to students at all the level but it only provides strategies and tips which are ordinary only.

​​Highlights:

  • check
    McGraw-Hill's Top 50 ACT Math Skills prep book is written in engaging style.
    This Act Prep Book of maths is written in engaging style.
  • check
    This study guide is for those who are weaker in maths section.
    This study guide is for those who are weaker in maths section.
  • check
    It discusses 50 critical math skills.
    This Act Prep Book discusses 50 critical math skills.
  • check
    ​It provides sample questions.
    It provides sample questions.
  • check
    It is written by an expert who has lot of experience.
    This Act Prep Book is written by an expert who has lot of experience.
  • check
    It helps you to identify your weakness and work on it.
    It will help you to identify your weakness and work on it.
  • check
    It provides 2 extra online tests.
    It provides 2 extra test online.
  • check
    It provides an answer book with detailed answer explanations.
    This Act Prep Book will provide answer book with detailed answer explanations.
  • check
    It will help you to review the concepts, but you will also need another book for practice. 
    This study book will help you to review the concepts but you will also need another book for practice.
  • check
    It is useful for students at all level, but only provides ordinary strategies and tips.
    This Act Prep Book is useful to students at all the level but it only provides strategies and tips which are ordinary only.
​Highlights

​Pros:

  • thumbs-up
    ​This study guide is for those who are weaker in maths section.
    This study guide is for those who are weaker in maths section.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Discusses 50 critical math skills.
    Discusses 50 critical math skills.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Provides sample questions.
    Provides sample questions.
  • thumbs-up
    It is written by an expert who has lot of experience.
    This Act Prep Book is written by an expert who has lot of experience.
  • thumbs-up
    Helps you to identify your weakness and work on it.
    Will help you to identify your weakness and work on it.
  • thumbs-up
    Provides 2 extra online tests.
    It provides 2 extra test online.
  • thumbs-up
    Provides an answer book with detailed answer explanations.
    Will provide answer book with detailed answer explanations.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    ​Limited practice questions.
    Limited practice questions.
  • thumbs-down
    Doesn’t provide extra strategies and tips.
    Doesn’t provide extra strategies and tip.
  • thumbs-down
    ​Will help only in reviewing concepts.
    Will help only in reviewing concepts.

​Conclusion:

McGraw-Hill's Act prep book is only for those who are weak in math.

This Act Prep Book is only for those who are weaker in maths section.
5 lb Book of ACT
Manhattan 5 lb. book of act practice problems.

The Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book of ACT Practice Problems is the companion to the official ACT guide and official ACT website. This prep book comes with 1,800 practice questions that are written by an expert. It covers all the topics that are essential for the ACT exam. This book is the perfect resource to help students with basic skills through targeted practice.

All questions in the math section of the Manhattan study guide are at the same difficulty level you will see in the ACT exam. They follow the same format and same level of difficulty. The math section will completely prepare you for the exam and will boost your confidence. The problem with Manhattan’s ACT reading and English sections is that they are are delicate, yet still meaningful. This guide's practice questions are easier than in the actual exam.

In order to answer the ACT English questions, you will need to know about grammar, vocabulary and punctuation. But this Act prep book has a 50-50 balance of harder and simpler questions. Similarly, the science section questions are easier than average. The science charts and graphs are simpler than the ACT science visuals. Some of the science questions in this Act prep book involve pre-algebra math, which is appropriate for math but not for science.

Answer explanations in this study guide will act as a lesson and will be applicable to the other ACT questions. Certain additional questions are also provided so you can also practice challenging questions.

Each answer explanations provided in this Act Prep Book will act as a lesson and will be applicable to the other act questions. Certain additional questions are also provided in this Act Prep Book so that you can practice challenging questions too.

​​Highlights:

  • check
    This Manhattan Act prep book is a companion to the official ACT guide and official ACT website.
    This Act Prep Book is companion to the official act guide and official act website.
  • check
    It provides 1,800 practice questions written by experts.
    It provides 1800 practice questions which are written by experts.
  • check
    It helps create basic skills through targeted practice.
    It will help in creating basic skills through targeted practice.
  • check
    Math section will follow same format and same level of difficulty.
    Maths section will follow same format and same level of difficulty.
  • check
    Practice questions are easier than actual ACT exam.
    Practice question are easier than actual exam.
  • check
    English and reading sections are delicate.
    English and reading section are delicate.
  • check
    ​Science section is easier than the actual exam.
    Science section is easier than the actual exam.
  • check
    Each answer explanation act as a lesson.
    Each answer explanations will act as a lesson.
  • check
    ​Certain additional questions are also provided.
    Certain additional questions are also provided.
​Highlights

​Pros:

  • thumbs-up
    Companion to official ACT guide and official ACT website.
    Companion to official act guide and official act website.
  • thumbs-up
    1,800 practice questions.
    1800 practice questions.
  • thumbs-up
    Helps create basic skills.
    Helps creating basic skills.
  • thumbs-up
    Math section follows same level of difficulty.
    Maths section follows same level of difficulty.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Additional questions.
    Additional questions.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Answer explanations act as a lesson.
    Answer explanations act as a lesson.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    ​English section is delicate.
    English section is delicate.
  • thumbs-down
    ​Science section is easier than actual exam.
    Science section is easier than actual exam.
  • thumbs-down
    Practice questions are easier than questions in actual exam.
    Practice question are easier than actual exam.

​Conclusion:

The Manhattan 5 lb. Book of ACT Practice Problems is the companion to the official ACT guide and official ACT website. It comes with 1,800 practice questions that are written by expert. It covers all of the topics that are essential for the ACT exam. The math section follows same level of difficulty, but the science and English sections are easier than actual exam.

The Manhattan 5 lb. book is the companion to the official act guide and official act website. This Act Prep Book comes with 1800 practice questions which are written by expert. It covers all the topics which are essential for exam. The maths section follows same level of difficulty but the science and English section are easier than actual exam.
McGraw-Hill ACT ELITE 2019

McGraw-Hill ACT ELITE 2019

Mc Graw hill education ACT

McGraw-Hill ACT ELITE is written by Steven W. Dulan, who is the founder and president of Advantage Education Inc., which offers live test prep classes at distance as well as in schools and colleges. Dulan has personally prepared thousands of students for success on such exams.

The McGraw-Hill ACT ELITE prep book provide three practice tests and three more are available online. It also provides additional practice questions for every section so you can practice a lot to boost your confidence. The book hasn’t fixed the mistakes with the length of its English section, but it has improved its English questions. It previously focused on grammar at an extreme level; now the questions are balanced.

This study guide has the correct number of questions in math with topics like algebra, geometry and trigonometry. But the most complicated questions for pre-algebra and elementary algebra are not considered. The reading section is too hard. The fiction passages are full of detail instead of dialogue, and action as well as nonfiction passages are overloaded with information.

The book excels in its science section. The essay format is mostly right. The book provides more practice in statistics and probability. It provides 50 test day strategies. The answer explanations are not up to expectations. The book has skills and building practice materials for English, math, reading and science. There is good advice strategy throughout the chapter. The book ignores concepts of logarithms. The advice portions of this Act prep book are written in a confusing way. The psychology section focuses only on practice rather than learning concepts.

The book excels in science section. The essay format is mostly right. The book provides more practice in statistics and probability. It will provide 50 test day strategies. The answer explanations are not upto the expectation level. This Act Prep Book has skills and building practice materials for English, math, reading and science. There is good advice strategy throughout the chapter. The book ignores concepts of logarithms. The advice portions of this Act Prep Book are written in a confusing way. Psychology section focuses only on practice rather than learning concepts.

​​Highlights:

  • check
    This Act prep book is written by Steven. W. Dulan.
    This Act Prep Book is written by Steven. W. Dulan.
  • check
    It provides 3 practice tests.
    This Act Prep Book will provide 3 practice tests.
  • check
    Three additional tests are available online.
    3 additional tests are available online.
  • check
    ​It provides additional practice questions for every section.
    It provides additional practice questions for every section.
  • check
    English questions are improved over the previous version.
    English questions are improved than the previous version.
  • check
    Topics like algebra, trigonometry and geometry are covered correctly.
    Topics like algebra, trigonometry and geometry are covered in right manner.
  • check
    ​Important topics like pre-algebra and elementary algebra are ignored.
    Important topics like pre-algebra and elementary algebra are ignored.
  • check
    Explanation of answers are not up to expectation level.
    Explanation of answers is not upto expectation level.
  • check
    It excels in its science section.    
    The book excels in science section.   
  • check
    ​Psychology section focuses only on practice rather than learning concepts.
    Psychology section focuses only on practice rather than learning concepts.
​Highlights

​Pros:

  • thumbs-up
    ​3 practice tests.
    3 practice tests.
  • thumbs-up
    ​3 additional tests online.
    3 additional tests online.
  • thumbs-up
    ​Provides additional practice questions for every section.
    Provides additional practice questions for every section.
  • thumbs-up
    English questions are improved over the previous version.
    English questions are improved than the previous version.
  • thumbs-up
    Algebra, trigonometry and geometry are covered in correctly.
    Algebra, trigonometry and geometry are covered in right manner.
  • thumbs-up
    The book excels in its science section.
    The book excels in science section.

​Cons:

  • thumbs-down
    ​Pre-algebra and elementary algebra are ignored.
    Pre-algebra and elementary algebra are ignored.
  • thumbs-down
    Explanation of answers is not up to expectation level.
    Explanation of answers is not upto expectation level.
  • thumbs-down
    Psychology section only focuses on practice rather than learning concepts.
    Psychology section focuses only on practice rather than learning concepts.

​Conclusion:

The McGraw-Hill ACT ELITE prep book is good for some sections, while there are some limitations. Some of the approaches may or may not be useful. Think about purchasing the book. If you do, use only what is needed and ignore the stuff that doesn’t make any sense or is useless.

This Act Prep Book is good for some sections while there are limitations also. Some of the approaches may or may not be useful to you. Think and purchase the book and if you purchase use only what is needed and ignore the stuff that doesn’t make any sense or is useless.

What is the ACT exam?

What is ACT?

The ACT exam is a standardized test that is used by most colleges and universities in the United States to make admissions decisions. ACT started offering computer-based exams int 2015 rather than the paper-based format. All four-year colleges and universities in U.S. accept the ACT score for admissions, but different institutions will set different criteria for admissions. Institutes include GPA, class rank and extracurricular activities as criteria.

The ACT is divided into four subjects: English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. Each correct answer is awarded with one mark. There is no consequence for making incorrect answers on the multiple choices in the exam. The ACT exam is offered four to six times in a year depending on your state. The ACT exam is always taken on Saturdays.

The act is divided into four subjects: English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. Each correct answer is awarded with one mark. There is no consequence for making incorrect answers on the multiple choices in the exam. The act exam comes four to six times in a year depending on your state. The act exam is always taken on Saturdays

​Format:

Following is the format of the act exam:

Following is the format of the act exam:

​Sections

Sections

​No. of questions

No. of questions

​Time

Time

​Content

Content

​English

English

​75

75

​45 minutes

45 minutes

​English usage, mechanics and rhetorical skills.

English usage, mechanics and rhetorical skills.

​Math

Math

​60

60

​60 minutes

60 minutes

​Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, reasoning and problem-solving.

Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, reasoning and problem-solving.

​Reading

Reading

​40

40

​35 minutes

35 minutes

​​Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension

​Science

Science

​40

40

​35 minutes

35 minutes

​Interpretation analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem solving.

Interpretation analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem solving.

​Writing(optional)

Writing(optional)

​1 essay

1 essay

​40 minutes

40 minutes

​Writing skills.

Writing skills.

Tips and test-taking strategies:

Tips and test taking strategies:
  1. Practice, practice and practice: Practice makes perfect and practicing will boost your confidence. By practicing, you will be ready for whatever comes in the exam. Practice those problems that are not too easy or not too hard.
  2. Work more on weak points: Improving your weakness will help you to score higher in the exam. It will be tough at the beginning, but later on it will be worth it.
  3. Work on easy problems without a calculator: Many math problems can be solved without a calculator through certain tricks. Sometimes solving such questions without a calculator can save you time.
  4. If you don’t have any idea regarding the question, then guess: There is no negative marking on the exam for guessing, so always attempt all the questions.
  5. Answer easy questions first: Attempt the easy questions first so you get extra time for tough questions. It will boost your confidence.
  6. Don’t spend too much time on any questions: If any question is too difficult, don’t spend too much time on it. Move on to next question. It will waste your time if the question is too hard.
  7. Don't focus a lot on vocabulary: Most exams focus on vocabulary, but the ACT exam no longer focuses on vocaulary, so don't stress yourself studying more on vocabulary.
  8. Read every question thoroughly: If you read every question carefully, you won't need to read it again and it can save you time.
  9. Spend more time on questions than on the passages: Reading the questions carefully will help you to understand which part of the passage is more important and which can be skipped out.
  10. Don’t ignore the passage introductions: Passage introductions can give important information. Therefore, never skip introductions.
  11. Do not get stuck on the big science words: The exam-makers will try to confuse you by putting confusing science words in the exam. These words will distract you and simply waste your time, so ignore them.
  12. Know the science terms that are common in use: Most science terms can be ignored but some of them are most commonly used. Terms like absolute zero, independent variable and acceleration are important to know.
  13. Keep your writing style simple: Most people try to impress the examiners with words they don't even know well. Don’t try to do such things. It's very easy to catch a mistake, but hard to convince someone who is perfect.
  14. Try to write a longer essay: Longer essays will help you to gain more marks and you can scope out more viewpoints and more thoughtful arguments.
  15. Avoid wordiness: Your writing should be concise and to the point. Don’t use words to make longer essays. Every sentence should have some meaning.
  16. Get proper sleep before exam day: Getting proper rest is essential. Make sure you have proper sleep before the exam day.
  17. Have a good, healthy breakfast: A good breakfast will give you energy. Breakfast is the important meal of the day.
  18. Bring a watch: Bring a watch to know how much time remains for each section. It will help you to complete the exam in time.
  19. Bring a drink: You will feel thirsty during the exam, so carry some water or an energy drink.
  20. Reach the location early: To avoid traffic and other issues, make sure you start early. That way, nothing will ruin your day on the exam day.
Reach the location early: to avoid traffic and other issues make sure you start early and nothing will ruin your day on the exam day.

​Summing it up:

Summing it up:

​“Good grades are life’s way of saying that there is a bright future in store for you.

You can score well on the ACT exam only if you work hard, practice and have a good study guide. I hope the above reviews will help to select a good study guide. In case you are not able to find a good study guide, then I will recommend you some books.

If you are not concerned with price, overall THE OFFICIAL ACT PREP GUIDE is the best Act prep book. If you are concerned with price, you can go with BARRON’S ACT because it is available at a low price and good quality. If you want to score high in the exam, BARRON’S ACT 36 is the top pick.

I hope now you will be able to select a proper guide and crack the exam easily​!

Check out more ACT prep books on amazon! 😉

Wish you all the best for your preparations and exams​!

Wish you all the best for your preparations and exams.
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