SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

The 10 Best ACT Books Recommended for ACT Prep

Has your reading list been taken over by ACT prep books? There are a lot out there to choose from, and you want to make sure you're using high-quality materials that will get you ready for the ACT.

This guide is meant to help you choose the best ACT prep books to achieve your goals. We've divided the books up into three categories: the critical book you need, the best books for general prep, and the best books by ACT section. Before jumping into our recommendations, a quick note about the perspective we're coming from.

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The 4 Best ACT Apps (and How to Use Them in Your Prep)

You can use apps to order food, watch sports, keep up with friends, and even study for the ACT. ACT apps are a somewhat recent phenomenon, but they're pretty appealing. After all, studying on your phone sounds like way more fun than studying from a book.

Even though apps are not enough to prepare you for the test on their own, they can be a helpful resource. In this article, I'll explain what ACT prep apps are, list the best ACT apps (most of which are free!), and offer tips on how to use them effectively.

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Best ACT Prep Books 2023

There are numerous "Best ACT Books" lists out there. But we think most of them aren't very good or thorough, so I've tried to write a much better guide here.

In this article, you'll learn which books are absolutely critical for your ACT prep, which focus on improving individual sections, and which you'll need if you're aiming for a top score. Most importantly, you'll learn how to use these top-notch ACT prep books for effective studying.

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The Best ACT Prep Websites You Should Be Using

Rather than relying solely on heavy ACT prep books to get you ready for your exam, you can lighten your load by moving your ACT prep online. You'll find lots of resources on everything from test content and key strategies to high-quality practice questions. And the best part is that most of these resources are free!

This guide will go over the best test prep websites you should be using if you're aiming to ace the ACT. But first, a word on the perspective I have when it comes to ACT websites.

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25 to 32: Fast ACT Prep Study Plan in 10 Days

Do you need to raise your ACT score, ASAP? Do you want to make a huge score improvement, from good to amazing—from 25 to 32?

It’s not easy, but you can take huge strides toward the ACT score of your dream in just 10 days. In this article, we show you how to pinpoint your weaknesses, create an effective study plan, and significantly raise your ACT score.

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Expert Review: The Official ACT Prep Guide

Looking for official ACT practice? The Official ACT Prep Guide is a great resource.

In this article, I'll provide a review of the current Official ACT Prep Guide, including positives and negatives of the new guide and whether or not you should buy it to help you through the study process.

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5-Step SAT/ACT Test Dates & Study Plan for Summer Before Senior Year

Your senior year is coming up, and you're ready to blow those standardized tests out of the water once and for all. It's time to figure out the best study plan for you that still leaves time for summer jobs, shameful levels of ice cream consumption, and acquiring incomprehensible tan lines.

Follow these five steps to make the most of your summer studying before your SAT or ACT test date!

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Is the ACT Required for College?

If you're planning on going to college, is the ACT required? The rise of different university testing policies has made the question more complicated to answer in recent years. Read this article to learn if the ACT is required for college, what different college testing policies mean, and why your ACT scores--even for colleges that don't require them--can still be the factor that gets you accepted.

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Do You Have to Take the ACT?

For many high school students, taking standardized tests has been one of the key requirements of applying to colleges. However, with the rise of test-optional schools and other ways of evaluating college applicants, do you have to take the ACT?

This guide will answer that question by explaining circumstances when the ACT is required, why fewer students need to take the ACT these days, and how you can decide what to do. By the end of this guide, you'll be able to know for sure whether or not you should take the ACT.

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The Official ACT Subject Guides: Expert Review


The Official ACT Subject Guides are a series of test prep books designed to help students improve their scores on each subject test on the ACT. While there are lots of ACT prep books out there, the official guides are the only ones put together by the makers of the ACT exam! 

In this article, we’re going to go over each of the Official ACT Subject Guides for Math, Reading, English, and Science. In each review, we’ll explain what each study book includes, what each book is good for, and what each book isn’t helpful for. We’ll also give you three tips for how to incorporate the official ACT subject guides into your study routine. 

So let’s check them out. 

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Get the Most Out of ACT Academy Free Test Prep With These 5 Tips

If you’re looking for ACT prep that provides questions that are just like the real exam, look no further than ACT Academy, a (free!) test prep resource created by the makers of the ACT.

If you’ve heard of ACT Academy but aren’t exactly sure how to use it or who it’s a good fit for, this overview of ACT Academy test prep is for you. In this article, we’ll cover all of the following info about ACT Academy:

  • How to use ACT Academy test prep
  • Four things that ACT Academy is good for in terms of test prep
  • Four things that ACT Academy isn’t good for in terms of test prep
  • Five tips for getting the most out of ACT Academy test prep.

Let’s begin!


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ACT Book Guide: The Best Books for Intense Study

Albert Einstein, who's generally considered a pretty smart guy, said, "It's not that I'm so smart. It's just that I stay with problems longer." That type of commitment, as anyone who's studying for the ACT knows, is its own form of intelligence, and it's what will help you accomplish your long-term goals.

This book guide is meant for students looking to "stay with problems longer" and study intensively, like 100 or more hours, to maximize their scores on the ACT. If you're a student who wants to leave no stone unturned as you prep for the ACT, then these are the books for you.

Before delving into the ACT prep book list, a word about what perspective I'm coming from in my recommendations.

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What Is ACT Academy? 7 Reasons It Will Never Be Enough

Have you heard about ACT Academy and are wondering if it's a good study resource? Although ACT Academy has some legitimate benefits, overall, there are many drawbacks to it, and we only recommend using it in addition to other study materials. Using ACT Academy as your main ACT prep resource can result in a lot of wasted time and a lower score than you wanted. In this in-depth guide, we explain everything you need to know about ACT Academy, including what it offers, why it was created, and how it differs from other resources. We then break down ACT Academy's pros and cons and explain how you should use ACT Academy as part of your test prep (and how you definitely shouldn't use it).


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Barron's ACT: Expert Prep Book Review

Barron's ACT is one of many books available in Barron's lineup of test prep resources. Since there are so many to choose from, you want to make sure you choose the specific Barron's test prep guide that will mesh with your test prep needs.

In this article, we'll give you a full review of Barron's ACT to help you understand what unique features this Barron's ACT book offers. Our review will cover the following: 

  • What Barron's ACT is
  • What content is provided in this Barron's ACT book, chapter by chapter
  • Six pros and cons of the book
  • How to decide if using this Barron's ACT book would be a good fit for you.

Now, let's dive in!


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The Best Way to Study ACT Vocabulary

Mastering ACT vocabulary words is an essential part of studying for the Reading section of the ACT. But settling on the best ACT vocabulary study method can be tricky. Do you study thousands of vocab words, or do you tackle the toughest ones? And what’s the best way to study: an app, flashcards, or something else? 

We’re here to teach you the most effective ways to learn ACT vocabulary! We’ll cover:  

  • The importance of vocabulary words and how they affect your overall ACT score
  • A bad, better, and best method for studying ACT vocabulary
  • How to interpret and answer a “Vocab in Context” ACT question
  • Eight solid resources for studying ACT vocab 

Now, let’s get started!


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