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ACT Preparation Books

For quick reference, here are links to related books we have reviewed:

A Note on ACT Books

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 be 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 Real ACT Prep Guide (Book + Bonus Online Content) 3rd Edition by ACT Staff

Buy this book from Amazon.com

As the title not-so-humbly states, this is the only 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. This is, by far, the most informative book available on the new ACT test. Included in this book are 5 real ACT exams.

Cracking the ACT Premium Edition with 8 Practice Tests and DVD, 2016 by Princeton Review

Buy this book from Amazon.com

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

Buy this book from Amazon.com

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.)

ACT Verbal Prep Course by Nathan Standbridge

Buy this book from Amazon.com

This book is as advertised, just like the other NovaPress books. It's well organized and has the content of a much more expensive course. If you're looking to improve your ACT verbal 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.

ACT Math Prep Course by Jeff Kolby and Derrick Vaughn

Buy this book from Amazon.com

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 2016, Cross-Platform Edition by Steven Dulan

Buy this book from Amazon.com

This guide includes eight full-length practice tests as well as a customizable test planner app.

Movie Themed Books for Vocabulary Building

One technique that has worked for a surprising number of our clients has been combining their acquired movie trivia knowledge with vocabulary building. Even though all of these books are all now five or more years old, we still find our clients are familiar with the "classics." If you think this might make vocabulary building more palatable, we encourage you to look at the following books:

Defining Twilight by Brian Leaf

Buy this book from Amazon.com

This verbal prep book for the SAT and ACT bases vocabulary lessons on some of the more difficult words from the popular novel Twilight. Lists of words refer back to sentences in the novel, so readers can see the word in context. This would be a fun and painless way to learn some essential vocabulary for fans of the book. I wouldn't, however, use it as the only book to prepare for the verbal sections of these tests. Stephanie Meyer has a good command of the English language, but there's no guarantee she used every word you might need to learn.

Name That Movie! (Comedy and Action) by Brian Leaf

Buy this book from Amazon.com

If you are a fan of comedy and action movies, this book can help you boost your vocabulary skills while helping you recall famous scenes and lines. The author also ties actors' debuts in to the trivia as well.

Name That Movie! (Romantic Comedy and Drama) by Brian Leaf

Buy this book from Amazon.com

If you are a fan of romantic comedy and drama movies, this book can help you boost your vocabulary skills while helping you recall famous scenes and lines. The author also ties actors' debuts in to the trivia as well.

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