10 Best ACT Prep Books in 2020 – Reviews

This is without a doubt, a must-have guide book if you are preparing for the ACT test. Containing ACT forms from ACT exams in the past, this book will provide you with a clear insight into what you can expect from your actual exam. Featuring over 400 questions, this prep book does not only provide you with study essentials but also with special tips and strategies, along with guides to prepare you physically and mentally for other tasks related to the test. The book comes equipped with additional information like how to register for the exam, preparing the perfect application and help with getting accepted into the top universities.

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What To Look For In An ACT Prep Book

There is almost no way someone can prepare for an ACT exam nowadays without making good use of an ACT prep book beforehand. We say this because ACT prep books have become nearly essential for students everywhere, not just because of the comprehensive knowledge contained within but also for how accessible they are. When you think about it, there is no point in reading through the hastily or formulaic information that older prep books contained, which is why you want to invest in a fairly recent one if you have the chance. Then again, you should also take the time and learn as much as you can about the basic nature of these books and what they have to offer.

Learning Style

A good way to ensure that you’re comprehending what you read in a prep book is to familiarize yourself with the writing style. For instance, you can opt for a prep book that’s written in a style that you find comforting and easy to understand. If you happen to find a prep book that’s written in the style you are already familiar with, you are bound to improve your learning speed considerably.


Provided that you take the time and learn about everything you are likely to encounter in an ACT exam, you should proceed with finding out which book best suits your personal account of the subject matter. If you took AP courses, for example, then you will most likely be aware of which review methods are most effective and how to best make sense of what you read. Bear in mind that any prep book written with little to no explanation of what’s being discussed is likely to confuse you to some extent.


You should definitely look up a book’s reviews before committing to a purchase as they may shed light on how well written the book is and how effective its subject matter is. By looking up for feedback on certain books, you will get a better understanding of how the book presents its contents to the reader. Like we said, however, chances are that different people have different learning styles, so approach reviews with a certain dose of objectivity.

Prep Time

One should definitely consider their preparation time leading up to an exam when researching the subject that is likely to be encountered during the exam. With prep books, you want to take the time and go through what the book has to offer before settling on a study method. For example, a comprehensive book will help you a lot more than a shorter one provided that you have months to prepare until the exam, which leads us to our next issue.


When looking for an ACT prep book, you should take into consideration how the book presents its content and how likely it is to fit your learning style. As we said, some books are a lot bigger than others, in the sense that they contain a more comprehensive table of contents. Many of these books, for example, contain several ACT tests from previous years that you can go through in anticipation for your own exam.

Multiple Sources

Bear in mind that no matter how comprehensive a book might be, there is still a chance that it will not contain all the necessary knowledge for successfully navigating an ACT exam. So what you want to do is to invest in a second prep book if you can afford the time and resources. This way, you are guaranteed to get a more complex understanding of the subject matter, preferably from different authors.


You should know that different books provide different coverage and that no two prep books are identical. That said, if you are weak in a particular area, perhaps a subject-specific book may help you through. It’s true that for the most part, people usually get prep books that deal with the overall subject matter of ACT exams, but this doesn’t mean you should do so yourself. As we already pointed out, you can very well invest in not one but two prep books, one that focuses on the subject you’re particularly bad at and another one that deals more with the tests you might encounter during the exam.

Practice Tests

Speaking of which, some of these prep books come packed with multiple tests that you can undertake, tests that have already been used in past exams in recent years. This way, you get a better understanding of what the actual exam deals with and what areas you need to improve leading up to the actual exam. At the same time, these books tend to provide study guides with good ACT reading tips to help you in those particular areas as well.

ACT-Specific Titles

While there are more than a few ACT-related books out there, you should definitely choose one that’s made specifically for the ACT exam. While study guides are effective enough, they rarely help readers in regards to their actual test performance. You need to bear in mind that ACT and SAT books are quite different from one another and that they deal with different subjects altogether.

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