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What’s the Best ACT Test Prep Book?
Read Our Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated On: May 7, 2021

Since your ACT score plays a huge factor in determining whether you can get into your college of choice or not, we think it's better if you prepare as early as today. The first thing you need to do is get an effective study companion in the form of the best ACT test prep books.

But, how do you know if this test prep material is the right one? We get your predicament. We've been there. It can be pretty challenging to find the best materials when you're surrounded by hundreds of prep books claiming to be the top choice.

So we decided to conduct our own research to give you a list of the best ACT test prep books for 2020. Let's dive in.

10 Best ACT Prep Books for 2021

1 - The Official ACT Prep Pack with 7 Full Practice Tests (Editor's Choice)

The Official ACT Prep Pack 2019-2020 with 7 Full Practice Tests

The Official Act Prep guide is one of the top-rated ACT prep books based on reviews. Compared to other prep books on this list, this study guide is the only official prep guide written by the certified exam makers.

The official study guide leads you step by step from registration to your score report, and explains effective test-taking strategies. It also contains real test questions taken from previous official exams.

We've talked to several students who took the ACT and many can attest that the test covers the concepts in ways you have never seen before. It simply means you need to train yourself with realistic questions to learn the patterns of this exam.

This ACT prep guide comes with six full-length practice tests, tips, tricks, and other test-taking strategies you need to use. The book and online content includes actual ACT test forms.

This Act prep book also contains additional questions and materials on every topic. The topics start with preparing a college application, getting into your top school of choice, and eventually succeeding in college. The Official ACT Prep Pack contains data on scoring well in your writing test.

One drawback we've noticed is that this ACT prep book contains questions from the old guide.

Pros
  • Contains a good set of practice tests
  • Includes six full-length practice tests
  • Provides additional online bonus content
  • Made by the official exam makers
  • Answer explanations are concise and direct
  • Questions are at an appropriate difficulty level
Cons
  • Tests are a mixture of old and new material

2 - Barron's ACT, 3rd Edition: With Bonus Online Tests

Barrons ACT 36

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.

Highlights:

  • Barron’s ACT is available at a low price, yet it's of high quality.
  • This ACT prep book provides an accurate overview of the actual exam and answers many frequently asked questions.
  • It includes chapters on test-taking and how to manage your mind during the ACT test.
  • It provides five full-length tests with answer explanations.
  • It provides extensive reviews on all subjects.
  • It provides test-taking strategies for students.
  • It recommends study plans based on time available for preparation.
  • It provides over 1600 practice questions.
  • It provides easy, medium and hard level passages that will allow students to customize their study.
  • It offers many strategies and suggestions that are are unique and not found in other ACT prep books.
Pros
  • Questions in this ACT prep book are like questions asked in the exam.
  • The book provides 1600 practice questions.
  • Strategies and suggestions are unique and are not found in other ACT prep books.
  • The guide has good flow and organization.
Cons
  • There are a few hard questions in this ACT prep book.
  • The writing section still references the old version of the ACT test.

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.

3 - Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus 2020: 5 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online

Kaplan ACT Prep Plus 2019

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.

Highlights:

  • Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus provides 4 full-length practice tests online with detailed explanations of the answers.
  • It also provides one full-length practice test for easy reference and review.
  • Scoring and analysis for one official ACT test is also provided in this Act Prep Book.
  • It offers an online center with additional practice, quizzes and videos to guide your studies.
  • 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.
  • It provides strategies and advice from students who received perfect scores in the past.
  • It provides perfect score tips from top ACT instructors.
  • Kaplan’s best tutors review the most important concepts in short video tutorials.
  • Kaplan is the official partner for live online prep for ACT. It will provide proper guidance and guarantee.
  • Some strategies will take a long time to understand and may not be useful on exam day.
Pros
  • The answer explanations in Kaplan's ACT Prep Plus are good and detailed.
  • The "smart points" system is very useful in knowing what question types you should focus on.
  • Kaplan tutors review concepts in short videos.
  • Kaplan’s live online prep provides a money back guarantee.
  • Additional practice, quizzes and videos guide in your study.
  • Strategies and advice from past students.
  • This ACT prep book is affordable.
  • The book covers all four sections and provides full-length practice tests.
Cons
  • Some strategies take too long.
  • 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.

4 - Barron's ACT 36, With Bonus Online Tests

Barrons ACT 36

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.

Highlights:

  • Barron’s ACT 36 is for the high scorers.
  • It provides strategies and concepts not found in any other ACT prep book.
  • It provides advice and strategies for cracking the most difficult questions.
  • It provides extra-challenging practice questions for all test areas that include English, Math, Reading, Science and the optional Writing test.
  • It provides instructions on how to read effectively and retentively.
  • It provides special tips for boosting your score in the science section.
  • It provides detailed advice on writing an excellent essay.
  • It comes with an optional CD-ROM that has one full-length practice test.
  • It does not include things like basic test-taking strategies.
  • It doesn’t include strategies for common errors test takers usually make in the exam.
  • It provides only one full length practice test.
Pros
  • Lots of difficult questions.
  • Advanced strategies and concepts not found in other books.
  • Advice and strategies for cracking the most difficult questions.
  • Extra-challenging practice questions for all test areas, including English, Math, Reading, Science and the optional Writing test.
  • Instructions on how to read effectively and retentively.
  • Special tips for boosting your score in the Science section.
  • Detailed advice on writing an excellent essay.
  • Comes with an optional CD-ROM.
Cons
  • Doesn’t include basic test-taking strategies.
  • Doesn’t include strategies for common errors made on the test.
  • Provides only one full-length practice test.

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.

5 - Cracking the ACT with 6 Practice Tests

Cracking The ACT

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.

Highlights:

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

6 - ACT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective ACT Strategies Ever Published

ACT Black Book

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.

Highlights:

  • The Act Prep Black Book is written by Mike Barrett.
  • This study guide focuses more on strategies.
  • This study guide will help students with timing issues they may face during the ACT exam.
  • It teaches you strategies to answer math and English questions.
  • It motivates you to work harder for act exams.
  • It helps you learn to not only depend on ACT tricks.
  • It suggests alternative strategies for different students.
  • Answer explanations are detailed for the toughest question.
  • It helps you to use ACT’s design and flaws to gain a better score.
  • Question explanations are based on the old 3rd edition of the red book.
  • If you are weak in any particular area, the book alone will not help you to master that area.
  • The science and English sections of this Act prep book are not as strong as the reading and math sections.
Pros
  • Focuses on strategies.
  • Motivates you to work harder.
  • Helps you to work on timing issues.
  • Teaches you the general process of answering questions.
  • Helps you learn to not only depend on the tricks.
  • Offers alternative strategies for different students.
  • Provides detailed answer explanations for the toughest questions.
  • Helps you use ACT’s design and flaws against it.
  • The book is clear and concise.
  • Explains how the every question works and how to crack the question in the least possible time.
Cons
  • Question explanations are based on the old 3rd edition of the red book.
  • If you are weak in any particular area, the book alone will not help you to master that area.
  • The science and English sections are not as strong as the reading and math sections are.
  • 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.

7 - Up Your Score: ACT: The Underground Guide to Outsmarting "The Test”

Up Your Score ACT

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.

Highlights:

  • The Up Your Score ACT prep book is an alternative to boring ACT books.
  • It offers a fun approach for exam preparation.
  • It explains the ACT format and concepts in a humorous way.
  • It provides test-taking strategies.
  • It explains how to deal with stress and frustration during exams.
  • It offers advice to boost your confidence.
  • It will not be sufficient because it is your only resource.
  • It has not been updated for many years.
  • It is more like a pre-book that you need to start out studying.
Pros
  • Alternative to boring act books.
  • Follows fun approach for exam preparation.
  • Explains format and concepts in humorous way.
  • Provides test taking strategies.
  • Explains how to deal with stress and frustration during exams.
  • Gives advice for boosting your confidence.
Cons
  • Will not be sufficient because it is your only resource.
  • The book has not been updated for many years.
  • More like a pre-book that 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.

8 - Manhattan 5 lb. Book of ACT Practice Problems

5 lb Book of ACT

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.

Highlights:

  • This Manhattan Act prep book is a companion to the official ACT guide and official ACT website.
  • It provides 1,800 practice questions written by experts.
  • It helps create basic skills through targeted practice.
  • Math section will follow same format and same level of difficulty.
  • Practice questions are easier than actual ACT exam.
  • English and reading sections are delicate.
  • Science section is easier than the actual exam.
  • Each answer explanation act as a lesson.
  • Certain additional questions are also provided.
Pros
  • Companion to official ACT guide and official ACT website.
  • 1,800 practice questions.
  • Helps create basic skills.
  • Math section follows same level of difficulty.
  • Additional questions.
  • Answer explanations act as a lesson.
Cons
  • English section is delicate.
  • Science section is easier than actual exam.
  • Practice questions are easier than questions in 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.

9 - McGraw-Hill Education: Top 50 ACT Math Skills for a Top Score

Top 50 ACT Math Skills

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.

Highlights:

  • McGraw-Hill's Top 50 ACT Math Skills prep book is written in engaging style.
  • This study guide is for those who are weaker in maths section.
  • It discusses 50 critical math skills.
  • It provides sample questions.
  • It is written by an expert who has lot of experience.
  • It helps you to identify your weakness and work on it.
  • It provides 2 extra online tests.
  • It provides an answer book with detailed answer explanations.
  • It will help you to review the concepts, but you will also need another book for practice.
  • It is useful for students at all level, but only provides ordinary strategies and tips.
Pros
  • This study guide is for those who are weaker in maths section.
  • Discusses 50 critical math skills.
  • Provides sample questions.
  • It is written by an expert who has lot of experience.
  • Helps you to identify your weakness and work on it.
  • Provides 2 extra online tests.
  • Provides an answer book with detailed answer explanations.
Cons
  • Limited practice questions.
  • Doesn’t provide extra strategies and tips.
  • Will help only in reviewing concepts.

Conclusion:

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

10 - McGraw-Hill ACT ELITE 2020

McGraw-Hill ACT ELITE 2019

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.

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

What is the ACT exam?

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.

Sections No. of questions Time Content
English 75 45 minutes English usage, mechanics and rhetorical skills.
Math 60 60 minutes Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, reasoning and problem-solving.
Reading 40 35 minutes Reading comprehension
Science 40 35 minutes Interpretation analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem solving.
Writing(optional) 1 essay 40 minutes Writing skills.

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 all the essentials: Think carefully about what to bring to the ACT. Bring a watch to know how much time remains for each section. It will help you to complete the exam in time. You will feel thirsty during the exam, so carry some water or an energy drink as well.
  19. 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.

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!

Wish you all the best for your preparations and exams!

The Official ACT Prep Pack 2019-2020 with 7 Full Practice Tests

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The Official ACT Prep Pack with 7 Full Practice Tests

  • Contains a good set of practice tests
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  • Made by the official exam makers
  • Answer explanations are concise and direct
  • Questions are at an appropriate difficulty level
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About the author

William Cohen

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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