Book for Preparing for the ACT

How to Select an ACT Prep Book?

ACT is a national college admission test that is conducted to evaluate what you have learned in your high school in order to assess your academic alacrity for college. This curriculum and standards-based exam tests your skills in the subject areas: Mathematics, English, Science, Reading and Writing.

Though the test curriculum is primarily based on subjects and concepts, which were a part of your high-school curriculum, it is recommended that you prepare specifically for the test using ACT preparatory materials. You can prepare for the test through online programs, on-campus courses, books/guides and practice tests. Using books/guides as a prep material provides many advantages over the other options. Books are more convenient, portable and durable. Moreover, they are sources containing reliable information. This article gives you some tips on how to select a good book for the ACT test preparation.

Printed Version or E-Version?

When you have decided to prepare for the test using a book, you have two options: Printed version books and e-guides/books. The printed version of a book helps in preparing for the test at your own speed without the use of computer and Internet. On the other hand, the e-books/guides help in preparing for the test using computer and Internet. Moreover, books can be carried anywhere but for the e-guides, one has to be bound to the computer or use hi-tech gadgets in order to be mobile. You can choose either of the options based on your preference, situation and budget.

Give Importance to the Content of the Book

The content of the book you choose can definitely impact the quality of your preparation for the test. As far as possible, try to use the books that include lessons and practice questions for all the subject-areas of the test. It is not important to read many books for making your preparation. Instead, just choose one or two quality books that, when read completely, prepare you for successfully taking all the subject areas of the test.

Official Book or Unofficial Book?

The books/guides available at the official website of ACT ( must be your first choice since they are from the test makers itself. There is no better way to prepare for the ACT test than using an official guide rather than any other book. However, it is recommended that you use at least one unofficial  book/guide in addition to the official book , because a good unofficial book includes many time-proven test-taking strategies and detailed explanations for the answers to the practice questions.

The following paragraphs will give you the reviews of the official book as well as the reviews of a few unofficial guides/books:

Official ACT Preparation Books

The Real ACT Prep Guide

The Real ACT Prep Guide is the only comprehensive official book that is available from the ACT test makers. It is highly recommended that you use this book for making effective preparation for the test since it is the most informative guide including reviews for all the subject areas of the test. The book also covers 5 practice tests that are similar to the actual ACT test, as well as test-taking strategies and study materials for the optional ACT Writing Test. You can buy this book from the official ACT website:

Preparing for the ACT

Preparing for the ACT is a free student preparation booklet provided by the ACT test makers. This book covers the test information, practice tests, test strategies and tips, as well as a few sample essays. You can download this booklet from the official website:

Unofficial ACT Preparation Books

McGraw-Hill's ACT with CD-ROM, 2012 Edition

McGraw-Hill's ACT is one of the books that is well organized and easy to use. The book includes 4 paper-based practice tests that are designed similar in quality to that of the actual ACT test. The book also covers the tips and strategies for taking the test effectively. The CD-ROM that comes along with this book includes 2 interactive practice tests.

The Princeton Review's Cracking the ACT, 2012 Edition

The Princeton Review's Cracking the ACT, 2012 Edition covers everything that is required for preparing for the exam. The book includes comprehensive review of all the sections of the test, 3 practice tests, essay writing tips, and test-taking tips. The Princeton Review's preparatory book is a good choice if you are looking for an excellent unofficial book for your test preparation. Besides providing everything necessary for the test preparation, this book clearly explains how to answer the test questions quickly. This book will definitely help you get a good score in the test.

The tips and reviews given in this article should help you in choosing the best book to help you with your examination preparation. Choose the right books based on your needs and prepare well for the test to get a good score.