It is expected that by the 10th grade, most (if not all,) students should be competent in the subject matter regarding the ACT and the SAT and the best way to get there is by taking one of the best ACT prep courses on the market. About 2 million students take the ACT each year, creating for us a large database on the best ACT courses you can get on the market for effective and efficient studying!
Here we have the best ACT prep courses, created by the most proficient players per sections including Math, English, Science, Reading, and a bonus offer for students considering taking the optional essay. So what are we waiting for? Here are the best 8 ACT prep books that will give you the best of studying and achieving high scores on the ACT.
Looking for some supplemental ACT books? Check out the best ACT prep books that made our list for this year!
The Best ACT Prep Courses
Affordable video-based lectures with features that help keep you focused & on schedule.
Comprehensive courses with options that can fit any learning style.
A Mark Cuban ACT prep company with a 4+ point score guarantee… what’s not to like?
The Princeton review ACT prep is a comprehensive package loaded with rich content that aptly reviews each section, providing strategies for test taking, as well as plenty of practice questions for you to sharpen your ability to answer questions quickly and correctly on test day. The Princeton Review is among the best ACT prep online courses on the market and has a strong brand associated with all aspects test-prep related, so you can rest assured you are going to get a great ACT prep course, or your money back! Yes, that’s right. If you don’t score higher on the ACT or are not 100% satisfied with their course, they will offer a 100% refund.
The Princeton Review ACT Ultimate features 25 hours of classroom instruction, 4 proctored exams, 7 additional practice exams, and 8 ACT subject tests (English, Math, Reading, Science). This course is also offered in-person, but locations and schedule can vary. We prefer the online course for availability as well as the absence of commuting. When checking out, you have the option for some discount add-ons including 5 hours of one-on-one tutoring for only $200.
- Live online classes with a teacher who ensures maximum utilization of studying process
- Immediate online practice test scoring
- Explanations and drills after every comprehensive section
- 240 online practice drills
- 140 online video lessons for concept review
The provided practice tests can be improved upon, as we find them simpler to solve compared to official ACT questions. Also, you will find that the live online courses require that you are attending the courses at a set time twice a week, which can be inconvenient for some.
If you are looking for a live ACT prep course without having to leave the comfort of your own home, then the Princeton Review ACT Ultimate LiveOnline course is the one for you. The course features all the same elements of live in-person tutoring but without the headache of traveling to and from class multiple times a week.
It is not every day that you come across ACT review course organizers being featured on Shark Tank and closing a deal with Mark Cuban. Prep Expert is a new player in the ACT test prep scene, but they are causing quite a stir with their guaranteed 4 point increase on the ACT (as well as 200 points SAT increase) or you money back. If you are looking for a way to improve your test-taking skills and strategies to answering questions, then look no further than Prep Expert’s 99th Percentile instructors.
Prep Expert is offering their services in three main formats: live-in person, live-online and on-demand online. Among these three, the most popular option is the live online classroom option. This option allows the student to sit in front of a computer system and take part in live video conferences with other students and the teacher. The key features that put Prep Expert ahead of many others of the best ACT prep courses are that every one of their classes is taught and managed by the 99 percent scorers. What this means is that every teacher working in Prep Expert has a perfect ACT score or landed just a few marks shy of being 100%. As some other companies prefer hiring lower-rated or unqualified teachers, Prep Experts know that to be effective, they can only offer the best teachers. And below are some other reasons why we love them.
- Excellent teaching experience create access to secret tips and tricks
- Free online classes at specific intervals
- 100% money back guarantee
- Full 60 hours of online, in-person and live classroom options—which is a lot longer than most other test prep companies, including Princeton Review
- 2 free ACT prep books
- Guarantee to increase your ACT score by 4 percent
The only drawback that we could find with Prep Expert is that their in-person classes option is only limited to 10 US cities. This means that if you are living outside these cities, you may never be able to locate an in-person class for you or your child.
Notwithstanding, it remains the best ACT prep course if you want a guaranteed study course that can improve your score. Not all ACT prep courses make such bold claims.
The term “Magoosh” stands for one that is highly skilled or learned, generous or wise. That makes us feel even smarter for adding them to our best ACT prep course list. The Magoosh ACT prep course offers top-quality study materials at the most affordable price on our list. Their ACT courses are some of the best ACT prep courses materials for people on a budget.
Magoosh offers just one study option—an on-demand online course in a one, three, or 6-month package. This type of studying platform is a great alternative for the budget-minded student who is able to study at his or her own pace and time, not just when there is a class.
One thing that Magoosh is known for is a format that is easy to follow with over 250+ video lessons, 1300+ practice questions, 4 practice tests, and study schedule checklists to keep you on track. Students really shouldn’t have any difficulty following along with this ACT prep course. They offer a similar 4 point increase guarantee, assuming you have met all of their requirements. Similarly, if you do not like this course, you have 7 days to get your money back!
- An easy pricing model based on time management, not content
- Ability to customize your studying time and pace to fit your busy schedule
- Offers a discount for a subscription to SAT Prep Course
- Access to hundreds of videos and content
- Offers 4 point score increase guarantee
- Simple, easy to use platform
The major drawback we find with Magoosh’s ACT prep is the lack of ability to speak with coaches or tutors, as you are only provided email support from tutors. To get help from your teachers is vital, especially where you are stuck. We hope they add a bit more access to in-person help or questioning in the future.
For anyone looking to shuffle conveniently between busy schedules and studying, Magoosh is the answer. Considering how cheap it is, Magoosh is undoubtedly the best budget and best ACT prep course. That said, we only recommend this course to students who already possess self-discipline to stay on track with their own self-paced study schedule.
*Try a 7-day free trial by clicking here.
Sign up here to attend a free webinar hosted by Testive founder and Duke/MIT alumnus Tom Rose: How to Prepare your Child for the SAT or ACT
7 years ago, Testive was born at MIT out of a need for technology to connect students with great teachers, regardless of their location. Two MIT Sloan School of Management students were doing local private tutoring sessions when they realized they could make a greater impact reaching students from all over the world by marrying technology with human interaction, effectively offering world-class tutors to anyone around the world at a fraction of the cost of actually leaving your house to meet with your tutors in a physical classroom.
Testive has an interesting model compared to the other courses that make our best ACT prep course list because they don’t actually charge you to use their educational software. This free prep course software offers an entire bank of practice questions and analytics so that you can track your progress and strengths/weaknesses. We love that this software is offered for free, which is not too unlike other paid-for self-study ACT courses, but this free software will not necessarily lead to a score increase until you are able to meet up with one of their world-class coaches. This is where the magic happens and how Testive is able to boast its 3-4 point score increase on the ACT.
Here is how the coaching process works with Testive. From the start, Testive is a bit different from the other best ACT prep courses making this list because they work hard to create a well-rounded understanding of who you are and what your learning styles are before setting you up with your coach to work alongside their software. They do this to ensure that you and your family are a good fit and will find benefit from their curriculum and coaching structure. They work to pair you up with a coach who has a compatible schedule, meets your gender preference, and shares some of the same hobbies or interests.
The next step involves students taking an official practice test, which can be downloaded directly from their website. After taking this test, students can quickly and easily update their results of the test and receive a score report immediately. This sets the framework for what material you will need to focus on to improve your score and your coach will then be able to assign daily practice questions to improve upon these weaknesses.
Coaching sessions range from once or twice a week (30 to 40 minutes per session) with online one-to-one video chat, which is a time for coaches to check-in on progress and performance. All of these coaching professionals come with high qualifications as 99 percentile scorers and are recruited from top universities such as Brown, Tufts, Holy Cross, and Yale, to name a few.
- Unhindered access to over 3000+ smart questions
- More than 50 hours of directive videos
- Score increase guarantee
- Adaptive and efficient technology saves time in score record
The only drawback we found in this prep course is the lack of live online or live in-person options.
Testive is the best ACT prep course to suit the needs of the time-strapped student with a tight schedule. It offers both these time as well as cost advantages without compromising quality.
Sign up here to attend a free webinar hosted by Testive founder and Duke/MIT alumnus Tom Rose: How to Prepare your Child for the SAT or ACT
Kaplan is a kingpin in the test prep industry and there’s no doubt that their ACT review courses are among the best in the market. Kaplan is known for its test prep as well as its partnership with the ACT, Inc. to offer discount or free courses to low-income families.
Just like the other companies making it on our list, they also offer 3 main options: live online, on-demand, and live in-person. Their live classroom option stands out as the most popular, as Kaplan boasts class branch locations in almost every state as well as in most major cities. Kaplan reaches a further radius with in-person classes that the likes of Princeton Review and Prep Experts simply cannot compete with.
Kaplan has quality teachers who are employed on the basis of their teaching ability and compassion. It’s quite possible that, more than convenient locations, it’s engaging and inspirational teachers that make Kaplan’s Live Classroom its most popular and effective option!
They offer one of the best ACT prep books which contains explanations to each question and one official ACT practice test. The moment you buy the book, you will also receive access to further practice test and explanations, plus the luxury of accessing Kaplan’s online video lessons at your convenience!
- Customize your review plan according to your strength and weaknesses
- 30 plus hours of interactive live teaching
- 9 practice tests with integrated score analysis in your course (including one from the makers of ACT)
- Two preparation books with over 1000 practice questions
- Choice of different location options for live in-person classes
- Guarantee score increase
The number of course hours offered in their courses are quite low, with the highest number of in-class instruction hitting 25 hours.
There is no better ACT prep course for acquiring basic knowledge on the fundamental concepts that the individual is going to be tested on. However, if you are looking for additional official ACT prep questions (as Kaplan provides only 1 official ACT test), you’d be safe to buy some official ACT practice tests to work through to supplement this prep!
6. Sylvan ACT Prep
Sylvan is renowned as one of the best ACT prep courses that help in building on the quality of the entire student via a personalized method. As one of the best ACT prep courses in the market, Sylvan uses a cohesive approach to raise you or your child’s score and confidence. The approach makes uses a blend of practice tests, online videos, independent learning and in-center instruction.
Sylvan offers an in-person classes option, where you can receive expert support on college-readiness skills as well as ACT prep. You can choose between one-on-one or group classes, depending on what kind of study preferences you have. They have more than 800 locations worldwide and you can see if there is a Sylvan Learning Center near you using their search tool. If in-person classes are not a priority for you, the Sylvan Online Prep provides an array of excellent videos and great content on how best to answer questions. It also offers a score guarantee that further boost its services as one of the best ACT prep courses in the market.
- Provides a personalized online learning path
- Over 800 locations means there is likely a center near your home
- Access to expert tutors for guidance on the ACT
One drawback we found with Sylvan is that their is not a huge demand for participants for their live in-person ACT prep. That means it may be difficult to find a group study option.
Sylvan Learning Center offers a well-rounded and affordable option for those who need ACT prep as well as any other help in their classes.
7. Veritas Prep
Just like 3 other courses that made our best ACT prep courses on this list, Veritas offers live in-person, on-demand online, and live online varieties, meaning you can choose the type of course that you feel most comfortable with. Not surprisingly, the live online option is their most popular course among students. The live online class provides their flagship 25-hour course with live online tutor instruction over the course of 5 weeks and comes at a price that is a little bit lower than that of Prep Expert.
If you prefer self-study, Veritas does also offer an on-demand online course that comes with 12 lessons in high-definition, 10 in-depth lesson guidebooks, an ACT question bank, a live instructor to help daily 7 days a week, as well as 1 full year of access to this course. This is a self-study option, so it should be noted that students need to already be confident in their own self-discipline and study methods in order to be adequately prepared for the ACT.
Veritas also has incredibly qualified teachers measuring 99th percentile. If you choose to pursue Veritas’ live online course option, you are also given the choice of instructors, all of which are reviewed and can be checked by students before selection. We love this feature, as it gives a bit more personalization to which course instructor you think will best fit your learning style.
We appreciate Veritas commitment to serve the needs of its students first, as they offer 24/7 access through online live office hours and email service. Students can find this very useful when practicing outside of the home and needing to ask a question or two. Similarly, their prep can be accessed across various devices, meaning if you stop a lesson on your laptop, you can pick it up where it left off on your smartphone or tablet!
Veritas offers a total number of 25 classroom hours while taking their live room option, a feature that is much larger than the average 18 hours that the industry is known for. With an extra time of 7 hours, Veritas can dive deeper into more advanced questions and problem resolution.
- It is available with three officially recognized practice exams
- 12 months of access to on-demand videos
- Unrestricted access to online homework
- Top-notch teachers for students
- 25 classroom hours
We are a bit disappointment in the score increase guaranteed by Veritas, which is just 1 point. Other companies, such as Prep Expert, guarantee a 4-point score increase or your money back.
Veritas is the best ACT prep course designed to handle the needs of more advanced students. We find their on-demand online course to be the biggest bang for your buck, as they are able to offer live instruct help 7 days a week.
The instant you sign up for TutorMe’s ACT prep course, you will be matched with one of the best tutors in the industry. TutorMe sets a high bar for tutors to join their team, as only about 4% of tutors who apply from the best universities around the world are offered positions with TutorMe. As the name implies, TutorMe is an instant online tutoring service that can connect you with a tutor in as little as 30 seconds and they offer a tutor satisfaction guarantee, which means if you are not satisfied with your tutor after your first lesson, you will be offered a full refund.
TutorMe has invested heavily in the most state-of-the-art technology for nearly 300+ subject areas, including its virtual ACT test prep. Each tutoring session is in its virtual lesson space, featuring a virtual whiteboard, text editor, audio/video chat, screensharing, and more. Click here to demo the virtual lesson space. You are also free to upload documents for learning purposes and even insert graphs or symbols for solving mathematical problems. The tutor can also offer code or text editor for even further versatility. The site does not allow tutors and student to have an in-person meeting, as a way of protecting the safety of the student and abuse of the system. Every online interaction is recorded in a lesson space or text chat and TutorMe allows you and your tutor to rate each session at its conclusion.
We’ve spent a great deal talking about TutorMe’s ACT tutors, but this is actually just a supplement to the ACT course that TutorMe has created. The ACT prep course by TutorMe includes 10 hours of interactive video that helps you to recall knowledge later on as well as over 500 practice problems to help ensure that you are ready to take the ACT with ease. With only 10 hours of class, however, this course really would only be effective if you plan to supplement your study with a few sessions of tutoring.
- 24/7 On-Demand Tutoring Assistance
- Online lesson space allows for a virtual whiteboard, text editor, and file sharing
- All lessons are fully animated to allow for ease of recall
- 4-point score increase guarantee
- Personalized study experience
- 500+ practice tests for better learning and studying
Although TutorMe stands out as one of the best ACT prep courses if used in conjunction with its tutoring services, we are a bit hesitant as to the qualifications of its tutors. Unlike the other tutoring and live-class instructors, TutorMe’s tutors are not guaranteed to be among the 99th percentile scorers. This may not be a huge issue, but should be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, TutorMe does a background check before hiring anyone, so we can rest assured they are exactly who they say they are.
This is the best ACT prep course for the extremely busy student who is already pretty capable of ACT test information and simply requires a quick review course and the ability to meet on-demand tutors on a one-off basis.
Finding the best ACT prep course that suits all of your needs can sometimes feel daunting, but hopefully after reading our reviews, you’ve gained a better understanding of which is the best ACT prep course for YOU. Regardless of the type of preparation you ultimately decide on, you can feel confident that all of these courses share one thing in common: they will adequately prepare you for the challenges that lie in taking the ACT. You know what you need, and it’s time to choose the best ACT prep course service to match that!