The Best ACT Prep Courses [Updated 2021]

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Pisa Day

Updated: October 3, 2021

🥇 The Winner: Princeton Review 

🥈 Runner Up: Magoosh 
🥉 Honorable Mention: Prep Expert 

Looking to take the ACT test but don’t know where to start? We’ve made it easy with unbiased, expert reviews on all the top ACT prep courses on the market.

The ACT is a premium test used in the United States for college admissions. It’s administered by a non-profit body with the same name. The areas of testing are Mathematics, English, reading, and logical principles. There’s also an option to take a direct writing test.

The ACT is not a cheap test. You will be allowed only 2015 minutes to sort through 215 questions that involve a lot of geometry, complex science set-ups, and extensive reading passages. To help prepare for this exam, students rely on various test prep courses.

But not all test prep companies are the same. To make it worthwhile and spare you money losses, here are our picks of the top SAT prep courses on the market.

The best ACT prep courses

Scroll right on the table to see all courses

P            Pisa Pick

Magoosh

Rating

Starting Price

$299

$100

$799

$397

$399

$499

$50/month

$99

$39

$50

$499

Format

Self-paced, live online, in-person and private tutoring

Self-paced online and virtual classes only

Live online, self-paced, private coaching

Live online, private coaching and self-paced

One-on-one coaching

On-demand, live study, tutoring

Self-paced online only

In-person, live online, and on-demand,   private tutoring

Self-paced, live online

Offline study book

Self-paced online

Practice Exams

15

4

4

10

Multiple

Multiple

1

5

Multiple

4

Multiple

Practice Questions

3200

1300

several

7100+

3000+

Several

<1000

2000

2400

Several

Several

Score Guarantee

3+

4+

4+

4+

Higher

3+ (live study pacakge only)

Higher

Higher

Higher

Higher

4+

Access Period

12 months

1-12 months

6 weeks

12 months

5 months

12 months

6 months

6 months

6 months

Lifetime

18 months

Princeton Review

Princeton Review

Princeton Review is a veteran test prep company, helping students revise for their Sat, TOEFL, GMT, and several other standardized tests. Their ACT prep course has several excellent features and very few weaknesses. That’s why it ranks first on this list. It boasts over 280 video lessons, 3200+ questions with answers accompanied with clear video explanations, and over 3 practice tests. They employ only top SAT or ACT scorers and guarantee score improvement. Above all, you will get a mobile app to facilitate smooth access to the curriculum, on-the-go.

Princeton Review ACT plans and pricing

The Princeton Review ACT prep course is available in all formats – self-paced, live online, in-person and private tutoring.

ACT 31+ is the company’s most popular package. It’s available in-person and online and promises to boost scores by 31+ points in two months.

If you want a 99th percentile score, you can choose the ACT 34 + Tutoring package. It costs $234/hr. And is available in-person and online.

For those looking to take the ACT exam in 2 weeks, you can attend a summer camp, in-person or online. This is a cram session, where the teachers go through the syllabus and highlighting common areas of testing. It costs $1294.

There’s also a $794 in-person or online course to help students master the basics of ACT.  You can also opt for a self-study course, anywhere anytime, for $299.

There’s private tutoring, too, starting at $150/hr. It comes with a score improvement guarantee. You can take the sessions in person or online.

Finally, there’s on-demand tutoring where you can get a tutor 24/7, starting at $39.99.hr.

Why chose Princeton Review ACT

  • Enormous question-answer bank and 280+ video lessons
  • Multiple course formats to choose from depending on your schedule, budget, and learning style
  • Emphasis on private coaching, even on-demand
  • Money-back guarantee
  • The ACT 34 + Tutoring package guarantees a 99th percentile score
  • 12 months access period
  • They provide paper, pencils, and other materials
  • Parent and student study portals available
  • Personal coach

Cons

  • The self-paced online package guarantees a 3+ score improvement only

Magoosh

Magoosh

Magoosh is founded by a group of education specialists passionate about assisting college-bound students in acing tests to get accepted to the colleges of their dreams. It has been around for over a decade, and you can rely on their depth of experience and carefully crafted study curriculum to help you prepare for your ACT exam.

The Magoosh ACT prep course combines 250+ lessons, over 1300 ACT questions, full-length mock exams, and a student mobile app. Depending on your learning style, initial skills, and budget, you can choose between the following plans:

Magoosh ACT prep pricing and plan

The basic ACT prep course from Magoosh costs $100 and provides premium content comprising customized study materials, over 250 video lessons, over 1300 practice questions with clear answer explanations, and 4 practice tests. The access period is 1-12 months depending on the price, and you will also get a 1 +4 score improvement guarantee and online tutor services.Bottom of Form

For those looking for something akin to a classroom experience, there’s a package that provides live virtual classes so you can interact with teachers and students. It costs $399 and provides access to study materials for 12 months. The live class hours total 16 and are taught by 99th percentile scorers.

Why choose Magoosh ACT?

  • 7-Day Money-Back Guarantee:
  • Free consultation with an ACT expert
  • Guaranteed +4 score improvement
  • Low starting price -$100
  • Dedicated student app for smooth access
  • Customized curriculum

Cons

  • The access period for the $100 Magoosh ACT Prep is only a month-long
  • No in-person courses
  • No private tutoring

Prep Expert

Prep Expert

PrepExpert’s ACT courses provide expert instructors and a high score improvement guarantee, making the company an excellent choice for any ACT candidate wishing to raise their score significantly. This is a course by Shark Tank and Mark Cuban Company. It’s an intense course that includes study lessons, assignments, practice questions, and tests.

PrepExpert’s ACT prep course packages

The flagship ACT prep course is a 6-week course that combines 23 hours of lessons and five classroom sessions. They also have a condensed version of the course, covering all the above in just 3 weeks. You can pay for any of these course packages for $499

There’s also a self-paced video course if you don’t want the intense course formats. It’s provided at half the price of the 6-week course and will give you access to video lessons, homework assignments, and tests without any weekly deadlines.

There’s also a Weekend Review ACT Prep Course, a basic program that allows students to sit through several cram sessions before the exam. All the sessions total a 12-hour ACT prep lesson.

Pros

  • Generous score improvement assurance: PrepExpert guarantees a +4-score improvement just like Magoosh. In fact, it’s one of the highest scores guaranteed by an ACT prep company on this list.
  • Superstar teachers: the company employs only teachers whose ACT or SAT score was within the top one percent
  • The PrepExpert self-paced online course grants one year of access to curriculum materials
  • Money-back guarantee in case of unsatisfactory results

Cons

  • You may find the course intense: it combines 10+ hours of class lessons and self-study work and up to 3 mock tests a week. If you don’t have the time, the Magoosh 20-minute a day course is a better option.

Prep Scholar

Prep Scholar

PrepScholar is another provider of great ACT test prep services and admission consulting. They have been around for about 7 years. Their course includes video instructions from 99th percentile score instructors, progress tracking tools, and flashcards, but they don’t have a dedicated student app.

PrepScholar pricing and plans

Their starting price is $397 and includes over 700 video lessons, 7100+ practice questions, 10 tests, and a 4-point improvement assurance. If you subscribe to this package, you will be granted access to the curriculum materials for up to a year. This is a complete SAT prep course and includes tutoring too.

They also have live online and private tutoring packages. The live online package costs $895, and you get the chance to learn with other motivated ACT candidates. The private tutoring package starts at $995, provides personalized teaching on hard topics, drills down on your area of weakness, and promises to help you double your score.

Why choose PrepScholar ACT packages

  • An extended period of access – 1 year long
  • 99th percentile teachers, most of them from Ivy League schools and with teaching experience to boot!
  • Weekly personalized reports, progress tracking, and customized feedback
  • Private tutoring available
  • Over 7100 practice questions
  • 10 full-length practice tests
  • 4-point score improvement promise

Cons

  • The workload is intense; it combines class sessions, 10 hours of self-study, and 10 practice tests a week.
  • No mobile app

Testative

Testive

Testive is another provider of personalized ACT prep services online. They combine expert tutors with technology to offer services to anyone with a good internet connection.  Before you start studying with the company, they will sit down with your family to determine your objective and customize a curriculum for you. Subscription to their study packages also comes with weekly video chats with an online coach to keep you motivated and engaged.

Testive ACT prep plans and pricing

There are several options to choose from; you can try boot camp, coaching, or coaching plus.

The boot camp ACT prep is a $799 study package that is best for use to brush up the syllabus 6 weeks to the exam. You will get one-on-one lessons twice a week, several practice tests, video lessons, a personal coach, and test prep software.

For students with more time to prepare before the exam, you can opt for the coaching package. It costs $399/month and is a 4–5-month prep course. You will be provided with a personal coach, one-on-one weekly tutoring sessions, multiple practice exams and tests, and test prep software.

For students requiring even more help, there’s coaching plus, which provides the same features as the coaching package plus an extra tutorial lesson every week. It costs $699.

For students without a budget at all, you can access curriculum materials for free online. That includes video lessons, practice questions, and tests.

Pros

  • Free self-paced online
  • Coaching is available on all their premium packages
  • It’s a family affair; they involve your parents/guardians in planning your course
  • Weekly chats with personal coaches online
  • Over 3000 practice questions with video explanations

Cons

  • No live online classes
  • No in-person classes
  • Only a month-long access period

Veritas Prep

Veritas Prep

Veritas is another great ACT test prep services provider. The company has been around for over 2 decades now, and you can bank on their wealth of study materials and practice questions to ace your ACT exams, just like gifted students. The company uses a ‘learning but doing’ strategy where candidates are challenged with various problem questions to maximize content retention.

Veritas ACT prep courses plans and pricing

There are several options to choose from depending on your learning style, budget, and skill levels. You can choose a live study package, tutoring, or an on-demand package.

The on-demand package is a self-study plan that includes 10 interactive video lessons in HD. You can access it using a desktop iPhone or iPad for 12 months. Live homework help is also available virtually, and you will also get free college admission guidance. This plan costs $499.

The live class option costs $899 and is a 25-hour flagship course taught by 99th percentile scorers. You will get live instructions and free admission guidance also. This is the only package with a score improvement assurance, promising to boost your score by 3 points.

Private tutoring starts at $2,400 and includes all the features of the live online plan plus one-on-one instructions online or in-person according to your schedule and desirable location.  

Why choose Veritas

  • Many different course formats –pick what suits you from self-paced, live online to private tutoring live or in-person
  • 99th percentile instructors
  • Free college admission guidance
  • 1-year access
  • Offline books included

Cons

  • Only a 3-point score improvement and on the Live class course package only

The Olive Book

Olive Book

Olive book is another great provider of ACT prep services. They insist on visual learning and back up their 2-point guarantee. Prepare for engaging animated video explanations that make even the toughest topics fun.

This company was founded by a Virginia Tech professor of architecture. It’s designed for students with tight schedules and who learn better through visual study aids. Each practice question has an animated answer explanation. Plus, the company uses diagnostic tests to craft a unique curriculum for individual students.

Olive Book Pricing and Plan

The Olive book ACT prep course is available online only. You can study from any device anytime at your own pace. You will get over 100 practice questions with video explanations, practice tests in Math and English, study resources and test insights, essay practice, and grading. Tuition is also available from $50/month.

Needy students can access this course free, while members of the military community are up for special tuition discounts.

Why choose Olive Book ACT prep

  • Visual learning: the course insists on visual study aids; they provide HD animated explanations of test insights, tough concepts, and practice question answers
  • Needy students can access the course free of charge
  • Special tuition discount for members of the military community
  • Teachers of needy students are up for special discounts
  • Guaranteed 2+ point score improvement

Refunds are possible in case of unsatisfactory results

Cons

  • Less than 1000 practice questions
  • The course is available in self-paced online format only
  • Only a 2-point score improvement promise

Kaplan

Kaplan

Kaplan is a veteran provider of test-prep services. The company has been helping students prepare and ace their standardized college admission tests for 80 years now. It serves over 2 million college-bound students a year in over 36 countries.

The Kaplan ACT prep course is available in-person, live online, and on-demand. Private tutoring services are also available. The course features include over 30 teacher-led lessons, real ACT practice questions, drill tests, and 6-12 months of access.

Kaplan ACT plans and pricing

The self-paced online course is priced at $99. It is a comprehensive curriculum and breaks down big points into little lessons to easily fit into your busy schedule. You will get over 2000 practice tests, 30 video lessons, 5 practice tests, and 6 months of access

The live online course costs $399 and includes all features of the self-paced package plus up to 16 hours of virtual classes led by expert teachers while another off-camera team responds to your queries in private chat.

Online tutoring services are available, too, starting from $699. This package includes one-on-one tutoring services plus on-demand study materials.

Pros

  • Over 8 decades of experience helping students ace tests
  • Over 2000 practice exams
  • Over diagnostic tests
  • Printed books are available
  • Email and student chat support

 Cons

  • The company is so old, their video lessons and interfaces could do with some updates.
  • No specific score improvement promise
  • No mobile app

ACT Online Prep

ACT Online Prep

ACT Online Prep is a course from the people who set the real exam. If you think you have a better chance of passing the exam if you revise using a study curriculum directly from the source, this is it. It’s an interactive course with customized learning paths. It includes a series of virtual classes, 2400+ practice questions, guidebooks on ACT prep, and individual subjects. There’s also a self-paced version of the course.

Plans and pricing

The self-paced online course costs $39.95 and allows you access to the curriculum for 6 months. There are also live online deals provided in partnership with Kaplan for $100 for 6 weeks, $180 for 3 months, or $250 for 6 months.

Why choose ACT Online Prep

  • Affordable: this is the cheapest course on the list, with a $39.95 starting price
  • The course is designed by the real makers of the ACT exam
  • Over 2000 practice questions

 Cons

  • No specific score improvement assurance
  • No dynamic video content and live lessons

Baron’s ACT prep

Barrons

The Baron’s ACT prep is a book by Brain W. Stewart, a teaching aficionado with plenty of experience in the test prep scene. It’s the most up-to-date ACT prep book on the market, promising to let you in on the nuances of ACT and show you how to develop strategies for tackling the toughest exam questions. It’s designed for candidates with a good understanding of the test already and looking to advance their skills.

Contents

Books comprise an introduction plus 5 core sections divided into 25 chapters and spaced out over 322 pages. You will get the following:

  • A diagnostic exam
  • Four full-length practice tests
  • Detailed explanation outline of ACT plus frequently asked questions
  • Subject reviews: Act Math, English, Reading, Writing and Science
  • Description of each topic and common ACT exam questions
  • Online video lessons, practice questions, and solutions

Pros

  • The book contains test-taking strategies tested over many students with different goals and proven effective
  • Easy, medium, and tough practice passages so students can adapt their study
  • It’s a short, straightforward guide for students with a good knowledge of ACT; there are no confusing excess explanations; just essential tips, concepts, and advice
  • Transparency:  the introduction part includes a bulleted list of who will benefit more from the book
  • Extra study materials and practice questions online.

Cons

  • The practice questions are separated and come at the end of every subject; there are no full-length ACT practice tests in the book.
  • Needs weeks or even months of reading, you won’t benefit if you pick up the book a few days to the exam
  • Requires people with intermediate ACT skills, not beginners

Kranse Institute ACT

Kranse Institute

Kranse Institute is a provider of a stellar ACT prep curriculum. The company was established by Dr. Shaan Patel, a perfect SAT scorer, and former shark tank winner. The course focuses on test-taking strategies, breaking down tough concepts into a series of 10-minute video tutorials that total up to 204 lectures. It’s entirely online. It includes a free prep book and promises a 4+ point score improvement.

Plans and pricing

This course is available in the self-paced online format only for $499 (limited time offer). The features include 204 lectures, a free ACT prep book, progress tracking, 18 months access period, and a student mobile app.

Pros

  • It’s a course by a well-known perfect score ACT student
  • Manageable content: tough concepts are broken down into a series of bite-sized videos
  • It includes a complete SCT walkthrough
  • Teaches test-taking strategies
  • The access period is 18 months long
  • 4+ point score improvement assurance

Cons

  • At $499 for a self-paced online course, this is the most expensive course on the list
  • The video lessons do not include captions or transcriptions
  • The mobile app is not available for android users
  • They do not allow free trials

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Wrap Up

Not all ACT prep courses are the same; there are various options to choose from, depending on your learning style, initial skills levels, schedule, and budget.

Ultimately, you want to go with a comprehensive course that’s engaging, has many practice questions, plenty of student support, and a high score improvement promise. Feel free to pick a suitable course from the list.