Even though there is no shortage of ACT prep books out there, the really good ones aren’t all that easy to come by. The main problem with finding a good ACAT prep book is that they all tend to advertise themselves as being the ultimate prep guide. In reality, only a handful or so can be expected to contain the necessary tools and knowledge required for successfully navigating a complex ACT exam.
It should be said that a decent ACT prep book should above all contain well-rounded information about what you can realistically expect during an ACT exam and how to best prepare for it. Many if not most of these prep books commonly include practice tests and questions previously used in past ACT exams along with the required answers. Overall, these prep books provide all the necessary know-how of navigating an ACT exam. To give you a better idea of what’s out there, we put together a list of the ten best ACT prep books the market has to offer.
Best ACT Prep Books – Reviews
10Accepted Inc. 2019-2019 ACT Study Guide and Practice Test Questions
The first comprehensive ACT prep book to make it to the list is the ACT Study Guide and Practice Test Questions for the ACT Test. Considered to be one of the most updated books from Accepted, Inc. this guide book provides you with all the necessary information you need, covering up to 5 different fields including English, Writing, Science, Math, and Reading. Furthermore, to help you understand better, the book includes a practice test that features important tips and strategies that you can use during the real exam. With this guidebook, you are almost guaranteed to study smarter, score higher, and achieve your goals sooner.
9Kaplan’s ACT Prep 2019
The Kaplan’s ACT Prep 2019 is another addition to the list of excellent guidebooks to help you gain knowledge and confidence before sitting for the ACT exam. Known for its special assistance in helping students across the globe in achieving their goals, this ACT practice test pdf from Kaplan offers you with online and offline study materials for your convenience. Including a full test in the book, it provides you with 2 online practice tests that feature in-depth, easy to understand explanations and solutions to common problems. Compared to the last edition, this book features a revised set of information and tests to match up with the alterations made on the official exam.
8The Princeton Review 5th Edition
Providing you with extensive details and strategies and all you need to know about the ACT’s, The Princeton Review 5th Edition is the perfect study guide to help achieve outstanding results. Featuring 3 full-length prep tests to help you understand better, it includes hundreds of additional questions which would total up to approximately 1,471 problems that you could face in the actual exam. Set goals and complete follow-ups with its special conversion charts and checklists for all your essays and stay in the loop with your progress. The book also includes bonus questions that can be found online to help you extend your studying resources.
7Barron’s ACT Test Prep 2nd Edition
Popularly known as one of the best of its kind, Barron’s Test Prep is an excellent guide to help you prepare for your ACT exam. Featuring over 1600 questions for you to practice with, the book comes along with an optional CD that includes additional questions. Uniquely structured and put together to cover the complete ACT exam, the practice tests feature different skill levels to help students make their way up and learn better gradually. The book comes with 3 practice tests that include in-depth answer explanations and solutions. Depending on the time available, each student gets to choose from suggested study plans to help them with their ACT preparation.
6The Princeton Review – Cracking the ACT with 6 Practice Tests
Packed with all the necessary resources needed to help you crack the test, this Princeton Review ACT Prep book includes well-crafted strategies and features. Offering 6 practice tests with 4 in the book and 2 online, it includes answers and explanations that would help you understand better. Pave your way to perfection with its special drills and questions and get updated content with especially bulleted chapter summaries to help you score perfectly. The online test provides you with quick and instant results, while its essay scoring system assists you with enhancing your writing abilities. With this book, you can now ace your strategies while spending less time and effort.
5Jacob Brezinski (Act Tutoring) – ACT Math: The Guide
Formulated to guide you to achieve an exceptional score, this ACT tutoring book by Jacob Brezinski revolves solely around ACT mathematics and all you need to know. Including a specialized set of diagrams and visuals, along with over 90 additional video tutorials with in-depth explanations and answers, it helps you understand math easily. The book also comes equipped with over 400 questions focusing only on math, allowing you to easily grasp high-end strategies and hacks to help you ace the test. With the help of this conveniently crafted book, you will be able to understand and pick up ACT math with relative ease.
4The Princeton Review Premium All-in-One Solution
Considered by many to be a one-stop solution to acing the ACT, this Princeton Review Premium book provides an effective set of resources to help you make it to the top. Offering a range of 8 full-length practice tests in which 4 are online, the book provides you with unique online content that you would not get elsewhere. Including access to tutorials via videos, advice from professors and experts and special study plans and strategies, this book comes with all the necessary essentials. Alongside the above, it also includes tips on how to go about college admissions, seeking financial support and more, helping you with your overall college experience.
3Kaplan’s ACT Prep 2108 Plus
Combining perfect study plans and effective strategies and designed with extensive research and hard work, the Kaplan’s ACT Prep 2108 Plus book features all the necessary resources to help you with troubles you face while preparing for ACT’s. Offering you with ready on-the-go essentials online, the book features 4 practice tests, video tutorials, quick video reviews, quizzes and more from the best tutors. Unlike any other, this book also includes in-depth tips, tricks, and strategies from experts and ACT professors who achieved high scores on the test. Guaranteeing you an outstanding score, this book will help you reach your goals and will also enhance your college application.
2The Princeton Review 2019 Edition
Providing each student with the right strategies, techniques, and reviews to help them achieve higher scores, The Princeton Review 2019 Edition includes essential information on critical skills required to ace all 5 ACT subjects. Equipped with 6 practice tests including 4 in the book and 2 online, it helps you with step by step solutions and answers explanations that are easy to understand. To help you even further, each chapter ends with specially devised summaries and reviews to help you refresh your memory and save time. With this book, you can easily identify trick questions, learn about special tactics and how to tackle traps effectively.
1Wiley (Act Help) – The Official ACT Prep Guide
This is without a doubt, a must-have guide book if you are preparing for the ACT test. Containing ACT forms from ACT exams in the past, this book will provide you with a clear insight into what you can expect from your actual exam. Featuring over 400 questions, this prep book does not only provide you with study essentials but also with special tips and strategies, along with guides to prepare you physically and mentally for other tasks related to the test. The book comes equipped with additional information like how to register for the exam, preparing the perfect application and help with getting accepted into the top universities.
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What To Look For In An ACT Prep Book
There is almost no way someone can prepare for an ACT exam nowadays without making good use of an ACT prep book beforehand. We say this because ACT prep books have become nearly essential for students everywhere, not just because of the comprehensive knowledge contained within but also for how accessible they are. When you think about it, there is no point in reading through the hastily or formulaic information that older prep books contained, which is why you want to invest in a fairly recent one if you have the chance. Then again, you should also take the time and learn as much as you can about the basic nature of these books and what they have to offer.
A good way to ensure that you’re comprehending what you read in a prep book is to familiarize yourself with the writing style. For instance, you can opt for a prep book that’s written in a style that you find comforting and easy to understand. If you happen to find a prep book that’s written in the style you are already familiar with, you are bound to improve your learning speed considerably.
Provided that you take the time and learn about everything you are likely to encounter in an ACT exam, you should proceed with finding out which book best suits your personal account of the subject matter. If you took AP courses, for example, then you will most likely be aware of which review methods are most effective and how to best make sense of what you read. Bear in mind that any prep book written with little to no explanation of what’s being discussed is likely to confuse you to some extent.
You should definitely look up a book’s reviews before committing to a purchase as they may shed light on how well written the book is and how effective its subject matter is. By looking up for feedback on certain books, you will get a better understanding of how the book presents its contents to the reader. Like we said, however, chances are that different people have different learning styles, so approach reviews with a certain dose of objectivity.
One should definitely consider their preparation time leading up to an exam when researching the subject that is likely to be encountered during the exam. With prep books, you want to take the time and go through what the book has to offer before settling on a study method. For example, a comprehensive book will help you a lot more than a shorter one provided that you have months to prepare until the exam, which leads us to our next issue.
When looking for an ACT prep book, you should take into consideration how the book presents its content and how likely it is to fit your learning style. As we said, some books are a lot bigger than others, in the sense that they contain a more comprehensive table of contents. Many of these books, for example, contain several ACT tests from previous years that you can go through in anticipation for your own exam.
Bear in mind that no matter how comprehensive a book might be, there is still a chance that it will not contain all the necessary knowledge for successfully navigating an ACT exam. So what you want to do is to invest in a second prep book if you can afford the time and resources. This way, you are guaranteed to get a more complex understanding of the subject matter, preferably from different authors.
You should know that different books provide different coverage and that no two prep books are identical. That said, if you are weak in a particular area, perhaps a subject-specific book may help you through. It’s true that for the most part, people usually get prep books that deal with the overall subject matter of ACT exams, but this doesn’t mean you should do so yourself. As we already pointed out, you can very well invest in not one but two prep books, one that focuses on the subject you’re particularly bad at and another one that deals more with the tests you might encounter during the exam.
Speaking of which, some of these prep books come packed with multiple tests that you can undertake, tests that have already been used in past exams in recent years. This way, you get a better understanding of what the actual exam deals with and what areas you need to improve leading up to the actual exam. At the same time, these books tend to provide study guides with good ACT reading tips to help you in those particular areas as well.
While there are more than a few ACT-related books out there, you should definitely choose one that’s made specifically for the ACT exam. While study guides are effective enough, they rarely help readers in regards to their actual test performance. You need to bear in mind that ACT and SAT books are quite different from one another and that they deal with different subjects altogether.