Preparing for the ACT

Different Methods of ACT Preparation

ACT test is a curriculum and standards-based national college admission exam to evaluate what you have learned throughout your high school. The test evaluates your academic readiness for college. All the 4-year colleges/universities in the U.S accept the test's score. You are eligible to take the test if you are high school graduates and students in grades between 6 and 9. The test includes sub-tests in 4 subject areas: English, Mathematics, Science and Reading. If you have plans to take the test, you must definitely prepare for the test in order to achieve the target score.

Since the ACT is a curriculum-based test, you can do well in this test if you have learned your high school lessons well. The test questions are directly associated with English, Mathematics, Science and Reading areas of your high school courses. Hence, attending the classes in your high school course daily, listening to the lessons taught in the school with full concentration, and your hard work in studying the subjects at home may be enough to take the test. However, thorough preparation will make you more prepared for the test, to get a better score than what you might have got without any specific preparation. This article focuses on the different methods of preparation that you can consider.

Methods of ACT Preparation

You can prepare for the ACT test in a number of ways:

  • Online programs
  • Books/guides
  • On-site courses
  • Practice tests

Online Programs

The online method enables you to make effective test preparation from anywhere and at any time at your pace using a computer system with internet access.

  • The official website of ACT ( offers the ACT Online Prep program ( This online course is an exclusive program for the test preparation that is designed by highly expert professionals. This comprehensive online program includes lessons and exercises for all the 4 sub-tests of the test along with many practice tests. The program also includes practice essays that are useful for taking the new optional Writing test that you can take along with the ACT test.

  • You can also find paid or free online preparation programs other than those offered by the ACT test developers. Just browse through the internet to find one of the best free online courses or video training study materials.


There are plenty of printed version or e-version books/guides available for preparing for the test. Using any of the good printed version books/guides for preparation help you to study for the test from anywhere in your own time and at your own speed without the use of computer and internet. If you are comfortable with preparing for the test using your computer, you can use the e-books/guides or CDs.

  • The official website of ACT offers The Real ACT Prep Guide that can be ordered from the official ACT website: This comprehensive study guide comprises reviews of all the subjects covered in the test, 5 practice tests with answers, test-taking strategies, and information on the optional ACT Writing Test. This book is also available in CD versions.

  • The official website also offers a free student preparation booklet Preparing for the ACT. This 80-page PDF book includes practice tests, test information, test-taking strategies and sample essays. You can find this free booklet at the website:

  • The books/e-guides from the test preparation services, such as Kaplan and the Princeton Review can also be considered.

On-site Courses

The test preparation services, such as the Kaplan and the Princeton Review offer complete on-site/classroom courses and private/small group tutoring courses for the benefit of the students who prefer to prepare for the test using professional guidance.

Practice Tests

The more you practice taking many sample tests, the better will be your preparation for the test. You can find free practice tests at the official website:, and other reliable internet sources.

The information given above should help you to know about the different options for test preparation. You can choose one or more of these options based on your needs.