Believe it or not, it’s actually really easy to find good stuff on the ACT – nearly all of it is published by the ACT people, unlike the SAT with its confusing amount of competing resources! So, here are your main options for ACT test prep:
Take a course
First up on the list is the ACT Online Prep course from the ACT people themselves! It’s a great resource, and it’s only $22 for a year’s access. You’ll be able to get to some practice tests online as well as detailed tips and “attack strategies” for each of the four mini-tests. The only downside of this is that the practice tests are online. This is obvious, of course, but keep in mind that the real test will be with a pencil and paper. If you go this route, make sure you take at least one pencil-and-paper test before the big day! Other than that, it’s a great course and I highly recommend it.
Get a study guide
If you don’t want to pay for the online course, or you want some paper practice tests, you’ll want to get yourself a study guide.
Well, it makes sense to get The Real ACT Prep Guide, which is the one published by the folks who actually make the test. It’s full of great study tips and, of course, practice tests! You’ll definitely want to get your hands on it.
The best thing to do
Okay, so once you’ve got the book or you’re in the course, what do you do?
The only thing that’ll get you better at something is to practice it.
The great thing about that book I just recommended is that it actually has five real ACT tests in it. Here’s what to do: find a quiet place, grab a kitchen timer, sit down and take a practice tests. Time it as if you were doing the real thing.
Once you’re done, go ahead and score the thing and see how you do.
Same thing online. It’s just… online instead of pen and paper.
Practice tests are useless unless you do this
But you’re not done! Nope. The key to taking practice tests is to study them afterwards. It would be pointless to take it, score it and forget about it. Go over each section and study the questions you got wrong. Don’t memorize the answers or anything. Just see what kind of questions you’re having trouble with. What concepts are you missing? Make a note of them. Then, when you study, make sure you focus on those areas. Boom – instant improvement!
Two more things to do
What’s something you can do on about on a smaller scale? You can’t take a practice test every day! Every week, maybe, but you’d go nuts.
So here’s something you can do right now. Head on over to this page and check out the ACT Question of the Day. Answer it, then bookmark that page and go back every day. Won’t take you but a minute or two and it’ll pay off bigtime.
As a side note, another great resource is a pdf called, creatively enough, ”Preparing for the ACT.” It’s worth a read, especially if you don’t plunk the money down for a book or a course.
And finally, don’t worry!
There are a ton of resources out there for the ACT. Books, courses, practice tests. You could even check out our own page on ACT study tips. It’s never too early to start preparing. If you’re serious and stick to it, a little bit each day, you’ll be just fine come test day.
What do you think?
What are some things you’ve done to prepare for the ACT or any test for that matter? Have any questions? Ask me in the comments!