For quick reference, here are links to related books we have reviewed:
A Note on ACT Books
Note to the Class of 2021: Please contact us before purchasing any standardized testing books. You may not even need to take the ACT or SAT depending on your particular list of target schools!
We strongly advise all prospective college applicants who will be taking the ACT to purchase at least 2 books on ACT preparation.
First, we recommend the official guide from ACT, Inc., the organization that administers the test. There is a significant difference between the official questions you will be asked on the exam and the practice questions contained in any other test prep book. The ACT, Inc. guide uses questions that actually appeared on previous versions of the test to show readers what to expect on test day. There is no better way to familiarize yourself with the kind of questions you will see, and the way they are presented, than to buy and study this book.
Second, we recommend studying at least one “unofficial” guide to the ACT. There is indeed a way to study for this test and to materially improve your score. The better unofficial guides contain many time-proven test-taking strategies as well as excellent explanations for the reasoning behind the choice of correct answers to the practice problems. You will greatly increase your chances of receiving a higher test score if you go to the test armed with knowledge of ACT test-taking strategies and familiarity with actual questions from previous exams.
The Official ACT Prep Pack 2020-2021 with 5 Full Practice Tests by ACT
This is the most recent and comprehensive official prep guide available from the ACT test writers. We strongly advise all prospective college applicants planning to sit for the ACT to purchase this book. Additionally, this is, by far, the most informative book available on the new ACT test. Included in this book are 5 real ACT exams — all with optional writing tests.
Cracking the ACT Premium Edition with 6 Practice Tests, 2020 by Princeton Review
This book comes from a series of test prep guides that has been fairly popular with our clients. It is certainly our hope that this newest edition continues will continue the trend!
ACT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective ACT Strategies Ever Published by Mike Barrett
The ACT Prep Black Book was recommended by our clients. It didn’t take us long into our review to agree the content lives up to its ambitious title. This book pairs very well with the official ACT test book reviewed at the top of this page. (As it gives detailed explanations to the official ACT book’s practice questions.)
The Complete Guide to ACT English, 4th Edition by Erica Meltzer
This book is has received good reviews from many of our clients. It breaks down the grammar rules most tested on the ACT in a logical and concise way.
ACT Math Prep Course by Jeff Kolby and Derrick Vaughn
Just like the ACT Verbal Prep Course book reviewed immediately above, this book is also well organized and has the content of a much more expensive course. If you’re looking to improve your ACT quant performance and either choose to self study or don’t have a convenient prep course or tutor option, we don’t think you’ll regret this purchase either!
McGraw-Hill Education ACT Elite 2020 by Steven Dulan
This guide includes eight full-length practice tests and, while the practice questions appear to be a bit easier than the ones in the official guide listed at the top of the page, we continue to receive positive feedback from our clients.