ACT Test Study Guide

How to Judge the Worth of an ACT Guide

Developed and conducted by ACT Inc., the ACT is a widely accepted, national college entrance examination. Whether you choose to study on your own, or join a formal program for ACT test preparation, it is important that you have a collection of good ACT test study guide titles with you. With plenty of ACT prep guides around, how do you choose the good ones? Which is the best ACT test study guide available? Also, listed in this article are three popular ACT prep guides.

How to Choose an ACT Guide?

Given below are a few important points that you need to keep in mind while evaluating an ACT test study guide:

  • Understand your requirements and evaluate the nature of use - Are you going to use the book as your main prep material or are you planning to use it as a supplementary resource?
  • Your personal style of learning and the level of preparation required - If you are a self-learner, you will need very less help with review and preparation. Also, what is the level of preparation you are looking at? Do you need extensive reviews or just practice questions and tests?
  • Contents of the book - Are you looking for comprehensive study guides, or do you need to focus on any specific areas? It is possible that you are extremely good at some areas, but you might need extensive practice and guidance for some others.
  • Budgetary constraints - This is one of the most important concerns while choosing any prep guide. You need to select a title that best fits the bill both money-wise and preparation-wise. You can, as well, get used copies, or free online books.
  • Reviews, recommendations, and popularity - Reviews and recommendations can help you judge an ACT test study guide from different perspectives; but how the book fulfils your requirement is more important. Read on to find out about three popular ACT test guides.

1. The Real ACT Prep Guide By ACT Inc.

This official ACT test study guide from the makers of the test, is, perhaps, one of the most comprehensive and authentic materials available for ACT preparation. The salient features of this title include:

  • Reviews of all important topics are included, with special focus on the Writing section. The guide also includes five ACT Plus Writing practice tests (with questions from former ACT test administrations) with answers and explanations.
  • In addition to providing in-depth reviews of the topics, this book helps you prepare for the test mentally and physically. A number of tips and tricks, and strategies for taking the ACT test are part of this prep guide.
  • A summary of all essential facts about ACT, such as the structure, content, registration, and scores is also included in this title.
  • The CD version of the book comprises supplemental resources that aid in exploring universities/colleges.
  • You can order an online version of the book at:

2. Cracking the ACT, 2012 Edition, By The Princeton Review

Published by The Princeton Review, one of the established names in the test prep industry, this is yet another popular ACT test study guide that is worth a try. The important features of this title are listed below:

  • The title includes comprehensive review materials for all the five sections - English usage and reading comprehension, Trigonometry and Geometry topics, and experiments for Science topics. All chapters contain sample and practice questions with answers/explanations.
  • Three full-length practice exams (two in the book and one accessible online) are also included with answers and explanations.
  • You also find a detailed and engaging walk-through session on the Writing section.
  • Additionally, the book includes access to tutorials and lessons online.

3. Barron's ACT 36: Aiming for the Perfect Score

This is an ACT test study guide that claims to prepare you for the perfect 36 score in the test. It is claimed that the book includes special suggestions/advice from its group of expert authors, and helps you tackle the test easily. The other important features of this title include:

  • A number of difficult practice questions are included in this title. The questions are of the same type as those from the actual ACT test, and cover all the five test sections, including the Writing section.
  • The practice tests included in this ACT test study guide are also challenging in nature.
  • Special focus is given to the Reading and Science sections, with instructions and guidance for scoring better.
  • Though the book does not contain any in-depth content reviews, it can still be called a great compendium of all the quick information you require for taking the ACT test.

Listed above are only three of the prep guides available for the ACT test. You may also find many more ACT test guides that focus on single subject areas like English or Mathematics. Finally, it should be remembered that you purchase only those books that are good for you - for your learning needs and the style of learning, at the same time easy on your pocket.

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