Best ACT Prep Books for 2023

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Table of Contents

The ACT is very important for students who will be applying to college. Use one of the best ACT prep books below to prepare for your upcoming exam.

Our team reviewed numerous ACT books in an effort to find the best ACT prep book.

We looked at a couple of different factors in our rankings including number of practice exams, content covered, publish date, and more. Use our reviews below to make an informed decision.

Summary: Find and review the best ACT prep books. Find the book that best fits YOUR needs.

ACT Prep Courses vs. Books

Note: If you need more help or are going for a top score, you should consider more comprehensive ACT prep courses.

Check out our review of the best ACT prep courses – find the best prep course for YOU.

ACT Prep Badge

Best ACT Prep Book Reviews (2023)

ACT Prep Princeton Review Official ACT Prep Guide ACT Prep Black Book Test Prep Books Mometrix
Rating 4.5/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5
Price $31.49 $21.32 $28.49 $17.49 $18.99
Practice Exams 8 5 0 3 0
Answer Explanations Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Year Published 2020 2020 2018 2020 2020
# of Pages 880 976 580 498 307
Sections Covered:
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Math Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Science Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Writing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online Option Yes Yes No No Yes
Summary Review Review Review Review Review
Learn More GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

ACT Prep Book Reviews

Read below for our review of each provider. Learn about the specific of each book and what you can expect to find.

Princeton Review

Test-Guide Rating:

The Princeton Review ACT premium prep book is available to students for $31.49. The book covers every section of the ACT, including the writing portion. The book includes 8 full-length practice tests, content reviews for all test sections, and techniques to get a better score on the ACT.

This book was updated and published in 2020, so all information in it will be current and relevant. The book itself includes 4 practice exams and students can take the other 4 practice exams online. The online practice exams include automatic scoring, which is a nice feature.

All practice exams include detailed answer explanations to help you understand why you got an answer right or wrong. This book is great for students who are looking for an ACT prep book that includes test taking strategies and has practice tests.

Best Features – Combination of number of practice tests and study strategies.

Serious students should consider using an ACT prep course to get a top score on the ACT.

Official ACT Prep Guide

Test-Guide Rating:

The official ACT prep guide was created by the official makers of the ACT exam and was recently updated in 2020, so everything in the book is as current as possible. The book is available to students for $21.32. This is the only official guide created by the makers of the ACT.

This book includes 5 full-length practice exams. The book covers all sections of the ACT, including the optional writing section. The practice tests are available in the book or online. If students choose to take the exams online, they will find that the exam does a great job of mimicking the actual ACT exam.

This book is similar to Princeton Review’s Premium Prep Book. Both books do a great job of offering test taking strategies and providing realistic practice exams to help students get ready for the actual exam. The online portion of this ACT prep book also allows students to sort and filter test questions to help them focus on what they really need to focus on.

Best Features – Created by official makers of the ACT.

Students looking for top scores should consider an ACT Prep Course

ACT Prep Black Book

Test-Guide Rating:

The ACT prep black book is a little different from some of the other ACT prep books that we looked at. This book focuses on ACT test taking strategies. The book is available for $28.49 and was published in 2018 – this should not discourage you as all the strategies talked about in the book are still relevant.

The book includes strategies from Mike Barrett who is an ACT tutor who has clients from all over the world. As well as all the strategies included in the book, it will also walk you through each practice question in the Official ACT Prep Guide 2018 Version (we reviewed the 2020 version above).

The ACT prep black book will help you get a higher score on the ACT by giving you test taking advice you can actually apply to your ACT, walking you through different ACT practice questions and the best ways to solve them, and giving you a general roadmap of the ACT and how to beat it.

The makers of this book recommend that you also purchase the Official ACT Prep Guide 2018 Version so that you can follow along and see how they solved each problem.

Best Feature – The walkthrough of how to solve different ACT practice questions.

Test Prep Books

Test-Guide Rating:

Students can purchase this ACT prep book from Test Prep Books for $17.49. The book includes an overview of the ACT, test-taking strategies on all portions of the ACT, and 3 full-length practice tests. Each practice test includes detailed answer explanations to help students grasp difficult concepts.

The book is current and was published in 2020. This is a pretty simple ACT prep book – there are no additional online features, or anything fancy about it. Everything you need can be found within the book and there is no need to purchase additional materials.

If you are looking for a simple option and don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is a great choice. May not be as in-depth as some of the other options but will definitely help you prepare for the ACT.

Best Feature – Price and simplicity.


Test-Guide Rating:

Mometrix offers their ACT prep book for $18.99. This book includes practice test questions, step-by-step video tutorials, test-taking strategies, and a complete review of all ACT test sections. While this book does not include full-length practice exams, the practice questions are still extremely helpful.

This book was one of the smaller books we reviewed as it only includes 307 pages. It was published in 2020 so all the information is current. The book is very to the point and does not go over information that will not be crucial to getting a top score on the ACT.

One cool feature of this book is the step-by-step video tutorials that will help you master difficult concepts. Sometimes videos are easier to follow along and learn hard concepts.

Best Feature – Step-by-step video tutorials and conciseness of the book.

Studying for the ACT

There are a ton of ACT prep books available to students. Our team tried to narrow down the options and find the best ACT prep book.

If you are looking for a combination of test taking strategies and practice tests, Princeton Review’s ACT prep book is your best option.

A lot of these ACT prep books have an in-text portion and an online portion. While these books may help get the job done, we highly recommend checking out ACT prep courses

Prep courses are more in-depth, help keep you on track with your studying, and have a ton of features that will help save you time. ACT prep courses may be a better option for some students.

ACT Prep Book FAQs

There are a ton of great options. Our team found that Princeton Review offers the best ACT prep book. It offers a great combination of study strategies and full-length practice exams.

Yes, old ACT books will still have some valuable information. With that being said, it is always best to pick an ACT prep book that is current. ACT prep courses are a great option to get the most current information.

This is all personal preference. ACT prep courses are great for students who need some motivation and help with staying on track with their studies. ACT prep courses will be a little more money but will save you time and energy while studying – Magoosh offers their ACT prep course for $99.

ACT prep books are good for students who are self-disciplined and don’t have trouble learning from a book. If this is you, go ahead and order one of the best ACT prep books listed above.

Dave Evangelisti
Dave is our founder and CEO. He has 20+ years of experience in the testing and test prep industry.