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Best ACT Prep Courses

Our team ranked the best ACT prep courses. Review our findings below to find the option that best fits you.

The ACT is a standardized exam that tests students in English, math, reading, and science. It is a timed exam, so it is important you are properly prepared. 

Most college and universities require students to submit either an ACT or SAT score during the college application process. A high ACT score will help you get into your dream school. 

Summary: Choose the best ACT Prep Course for you by using our comprehensive reviews and rankings below.

Table of Contents

  1. Our Picks for Best ACT Prep Courses
  2. Comparison Table
  3. Who Needs an ACT Prep Course
  4. Prep Expert Review
  5. Princeton Review
  6. Magoosh Review
  7. Kaplan Review
  8. PrepScholar Review
  9. Peterson's Review

Our Picks for Best ACT Prep Courses

Best ACT Prep Course Reviews (2021)

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Best ACT Test Prep Prep Expert Princeton Review Magoosh Kaplan PrepScholar Peterson's
  prep expert logo Princeton Review logo magoosh logo Kaplan logo PrepScholar logo Petersons logo
Rating 
T-G choice (Most Comprehensive)

T-G choice (Best Bundle)

T-G choice (Best Value)
Pricing $699 $399
TESTGUIDE300 Prep Expert: Save $300 on all live online and self-paced courses with code TESTGUIDE300
Save Now! Expires:
Soon!
Get Exclusive Discount 
$599 $499 $948 $116
TESTGUIDE1 EXCLUSIVE: Save 10% off all Magoosh ACT Courses with code TESTGUIDE1
Save Now! Expires:
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Get Exclusive Discount 
$299 $397 $234
Subscription Length 12 months 12 months 12 months 6 months 12 months 6 months
Free Trial
Guarantee  Higher score guaranteed Higher score guaranteed +4 point improvement Higher score guaranteed +4 point improvement No
Practice Questions 2100+ 3200+ 1300+ 1000+ 2400+ n/a
Practice Exams  10 15 4 9 5 3
Delivery Options Self-Paced or Live Online Classes Self-Paced or Live Online Classes Self-Paced or Live Online Classes Self-Paced or Live Online Classes Self-Paced or Live Online Classes Self-Paced
Videos
Study Plan
Essay Feedback - additional $59 - via email
Score Predictor
Support Options Email, Chat, Phone Email, Phone Email, Chat Email Email Email
Summary  Review Review Review Review Review Review
Learn More GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

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Who Needs an ACT Prep Course?

Many colleges require the ACT for admissions. The ACT is difficult and high scores are critical. Your ACT score is a factor not just for admissions but can also influence the amount of funding you’ll receive. Many undergraduate programs also use ACT scores to determine scholarships and academic financial aid.

ACT prep courses are intended to give an in-depth review of relevant subject matter material and teach test taking strategies. 

Determining your best approach to preparing for the ACT can be tough. ACT prep courses can be expensive and time-consuming. Do you need an ACT prep course? The answer depends on a lot of factors.

Factors to Consider

  • Study discipline – if you routinely have trouble maintaining a study schedule, you’ll find that a prep course is worth it. 
  • Improvement needed – take a free ACT practice test to see where you stand. If your score needs improvement, an ACT prep course may be a good option.
  • Budget – ACT prep courses can get expensive. If money is tight, consider our best value recommendation, or self-study with ACT prep books.
  • Need for encouragement – if you need encouragement, feedback and motivation, a prep course with an instructor (either in-person or online) is a good option.
  • Learning style – if you have a history of successfully studying with books, a self-study approach with a good ACT prep book may be your best plan.

Benefits of an ACT Prep Course

  • Simulates actual test the exams included in the best online ACT prep courses do a great job of simulating the real ACT.  Magoosh’s dashboard predicts your ACT scores and compares you to other students.
  • Score improvement – the top ACT prep courses will guarantee a score improvement of 4 points or more.
  • Quality instructors – courses that include live instructors will help you with efficient strategies, motivation, and one-on-one feedback.
  • Comprehensive study plans – ACT prep courses will help you craft, and stick to, a customized study schedule that works for you. This is very important when using online ACT prep.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses – the best ACT prep courses offer advanced diagnostics to identify the topics you need to focus on. An ACT prep class will save you time and money by helping you find the things you need to work on. 

Why an ACT Prep Course May Not Be Your Best Option

  • Time-consuming – prep courses often require significant study/prep time.
  • Expensive – the best ACT prep courses may be over $500.
  • Instructor-dependent – if you opt for an instructor-led course, the quality of your instructor will be a significant factor towards your success.
  • DIY alternative - self-study using prep books may be a cost-effective alternative.

Bottom Line - If you need a top ACT score and have the budget, a top ACT prep course is a great option.

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ACT Prep Course Online Reviews

Prep Expert Review 

prep expert ACT

  • Test-Guide Rating:  T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)
  • Price: Starting at $399
  • Discounts:
    TESTGUIDE300 Prep Expert: Save $300 on all live online and self-paced courses with code TESTGUIDE300
    Save Now! Expires:
    Soon!
    View Exclusive Discounts 

Visit Prep Expert

Prep Expert Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Students receive a ton of content and learning materials for the price.
  • Guarantee

  • Self-paced courses include a score improvement guarantee while live online classes include a 4-point improvement guarantee.
  • Content

  • Best instructors of all the ACT prep courses we looked at. Ability to learn in a live online classroom or self-paced setting.
  • Questions

  • 2100+ practice questions and 10 ACT practice tests. In the top end in terms of questions and practice tests offered.

Prep Expert Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Top instructors
  • Different prep options
  • Video answer explanations
  • Cons

  • -
  • -
  • -

Prep Expert Summary

Prep Expert made our list of best ACT prep courses as the most comprehensive course. All of Prep Expert’s courses are taught by instructors who have scored in the top 1% of the ACT. Having the ability to learn from someone who has achieved a near perfect score on the ACT is invaluable. 

One of the pros to choosing Prep Expert is the number of different learning options they offer. Students can choose to learn via a live online classroom, self-paced prep course, or private tutoring options. Some of the most popular ACT prep options are listed below:

  • ACT 6-Week Flagship (Live Online Classroom Setting)
  • ACT Weekend Review (Live Online Classroom Setting)
  • ACT Self-Paced Course (Online Self-Paced Course)

The prices for these courses will differ but all Test-Guide users can use the code TESTGUIDE300 for $300 off any of the above courses.

The primary way students learn when enrolled in a Prep Expert course is video lectures. Students enrolled in a self-paced course will be able to navigate through a massive video lecture library. The library is sorted by chapters that were organized in a logical method to make it easy to learn.

All videos in the self-paced course feature Prep Expert founder, Shaan Patel. He is pictured on the right-hand side of the videos and conducts the lectures. He reviews things like tips, strategies, and ways to solve problems faster. He uses an electronic pen to make notes over the slides to help better explain things. 

For students who decide to take a live online course, they will have more of an actual classroom feel. The instructor will be teaching in real-time and interacting with the class. There is a chat function to the right of the live video where students can interact with the instructor, answer questions, and interact with each other. This feature is cool because it gives the instructor a better feel for how the class is progressing through the lesson.

One of the cornerstone concepts of Prep Expert is their “Perfect Score Strategies.” These are strategies that students will learn to help them get a top score on the ACT. The founder of Prep Expert, Shaan Patel, used these strategies to achieve a perfect score. 

Also included in the Prep Expert courses are books. These books are in a downloadable format and are only available online through the course dashboard. These books were written by Shaan Patel himself and are great for students who want some supplementary information or just prefer to learn by reading. 

When it comes to practice, there are two different ways students can practice answering questions: 

  • Homework Assignments - These will be found under the "homework" tab. There are various homework assignments students can work on to test the strategies they have learned so far. 
  • Practice Tests - These will be found under the "practice tests" tab. These are full-length practice exams and should be completed in a timed environment. 

Students can review their answers on the practice exams and see what they got right or wrong. All answers will have answer explanations to show you the best way to answer that question. The explanations are in video format so they are very easy to follow along and learn what you did wrong.

Prep Expert is so confident that students will benefit from their course that they offer a score improvement guarantee. If your score does not improve, you will get your money back. Students who enroll in the ACT 6-Week Flagship course will even be granted a 4+ score improvement. 

Students who want to get the highest ACT score possible should choose Prep Expert. With the best instructors and great course content, it is hard to find a better ACT course than Prep Expert. 

Prep Expert was so impressive that they even scored a deal with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank. Here is what Mark had to say about Prep Expert:

“If you want to get scholarships, if you want to get financial aid, if you want to reduce your cost of college, Prep Expert is the only way to go! Take classes online.”

Best Feature of Prep Expert - Qualified instructors who have scored in top 1% of the ACT.

Actual Screenshots from Prep Expert ACT Course

 

Current Prep Expert ACT Discounts & Coupon Codes

TESTGUIDE300 Prep Expert: Save $300 on all live online and self-paced courses with code TESTGUIDE300
Save Now! Expires:
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prep expert logo

Rating:

T-G Choice (Most Comprehensive)

Bottom Line

Our choice for most comprehensive ACT prep course. Live online classes are great for students who want a top ACT score. Self-paced course is great for more casual students looking to get a good ACT score.

Visit Prep Expert

Savings:
TESTGUIDE300 Prep Expert: Save $300 on all live online and self-paced courses with code TESTGUIDE300
Save Now! Expires:
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Get Exclusive Discount 

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The Princeton Review ACT Review

Princeton Review logo

  • Test-Guide Rating:  T-G Choice (Best Bundle)
  • Price: Starting at $299

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Princeton Review Feature Summary

  • Price

  • $299 for 12 months of access to the ACT course. $499 for the ACT/SAT bundle.
  • Guarantee

  • Higher score guaranteed when using this prep course.
  • Content

  • 280+ video lessons. ACT and SAT bundle option for those interested in both courses.
  • Questions

  • 3200+ practice questions. 8 ACT specific practice exams.

Princeton Review Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • SAT and ACT bundle
  • Number of practice questions
  • Number of practice exams
  • Cons

  • Costs extra for essay feedback
  • No free trial
  • -

Princeton Review Summary

The Princeton Review’s ACT prep course provides test takers with more than 280 videos of lessons from top tutors on all topics tested by the ACT. Overall, the ACT prep course offered by the Princeton Review has numerous useful resources to help students achieve their desired ACT scores.

The course is 100% online and is available to students for 12 months. The course is self-paced but offers study plans to help keep students on track. There are over 3200 questions offered and 8 ACT practice tests provided to students. 

The Princeton Review offers a SAT and ACT bundle package for $499. This bundled course is completely online and self-paced. This is great for students who may be interested in taking both the ACT and SAT. However, if you are only interested in the ACT, you can purchase the ACT self-paced course for $299.

Students will be spending a majority of their time in the "Coursework" tab. This is where all of the lessons and reviews are stored within the course. Princeton Review does a fantastic job of organizing the lecture materials into logical clusters - this helps create a very efficient study process.

As far as the lessons go, there are 3 main steps in each lesson: 

  1. Refresh - Optional lecture videos you can watch if you need to refresh your memory on a certain topic. These can be skipped. 
  2. Learn - The "meat" of the lesson. You will participate in an interactive lesson and be asked to answer questions. 
  3. Practice - Questions and practice drills to make sure you grasp the concepts that were taught.

Princeton Review utilizes a color coded filter system in this prep course. The filter system is adaptive and changes as you progress through the course. It works like this: 

Each lesson will be color coded based on what you have completed and how you have answered certain practice questions. You will be able to quickly see which lessons you should be working on based on the filter system. 

For example, there is a filter called "Room to Grow." The lessons that fall under this filter mean that you have some knowledge of these concepts but have answered less than 50% of the questions correctly. You can review these specific lessons to improve your knowledge and your ACT score.

There are also detailed score reports that you can review after taking the practice exams. These score reports will breakdown how you performed on the exam and give you valuable insights into the types of questions you struggled with.

While there is no free trial, they do offer a higher score guarantee. If you do not receive a higher score than before, you can either take the course again for free or get your money back.

Students interested in in-person options should check out Princeton Review's ACT tutoring programs as well. 

Best Princeton Review Feature - SAT & ACT bundled together for great price.

Actual Screenshots from Princeton Review ACT Course

 

Princeton Review logo

Rating:

T-G Choice (Best Bundle)

Bottom Line

The best bundled option we reviewed. Includes a SAT/ACT bundle for students interested in taking both tests.

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Magoosh ACT Prep Review 

magoosh logo

Visit Magoosh ACT

Magoosh Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Best Value. Cheapest course we reviewed and get access for 1 year.
  • Guarantee

  • Guaranteed to raise your score by 4 points.
  • Content

  • Customizable study plans for students. In-depth videos. Great course layout.
  • Questions

  • 1300+ questions and 4 practice exams offered.

Magoosh Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Price - best value on market
  • Subscription length
  • +4 point score guarantee
  • Cons

  • Relatively low number of exams
  • -
  • -

Magoosh Summary

Magoosh’s ACT prep course is one of the most affordable prep courses available. The course is $99 and is available for use for 12 months. Magoosh ACT is a valuable resource as it offers over 1300 ACT test questions, videos to help learn concepts, study plans, and full-length ACT practice tests. Magoosh ACT works on all computers as well as tablets and mobile phones. 

The Magoosh ACT self-paced course is completely online. While it is self-paced, Magoosh offers customizable study plans to help keep students on track. These study plans consider how much time and which areas the student would like to improve upon the most.

Another cool feature of Magoosh ACT is the online videos used to teach the concepts. These are in-depth videos that provide a visual learning experience for the student to help get concepts across – these are especially useful for the ACT math section. 

Magoosh offers a free 7-day ACT prep online trial (with a no questions asked refund policy) and can be canceled at any time, for any reason. There are a couple of different options for students looking for ACT test prep courses – the best offer is the 12-month course for $129.

Magoosh also offers a 3-month course for $119 and a 1-month course for $99. Magoosh also has a formula that uses data analysis to predict your future score when you sit for the ACT. No other company we reviewed offers this type of feature to their users. 

Best Feature of Magoosh - Budget friendly with score predictor.

Actual Screenshots from Magoosh ACT Course

 

Current Magoosh ACT Discounts & Coupon Codes

TESTGUIDE1 EXCLUSIVE: Save 10% off all Magoosh ACT Courses with code TESTGUIDE1
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magoosh logo

Rating:

T-G Choice (Best Value)

Bottom Line

With options as low as $99, this course is ideal for anyone looking to save money and do well on the ACT.

Visit Magoosh ACT

Savings:
TESTGUIDE1 EXCLUSIVE: Save 10% off all Magoosh ACT Courses with code TESTGUIDE1
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Kaplan ACT Review

Kaplan logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $299

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Kaplan Feature Summary

  • Price

  • $299 for the course. Students only get access for 6 months.
  • Guarantee

  • Higher score guaranteed. If you do not get a higher score, you can take the course again or get money back.
  • Content

  • Study plans available to students. Different types of prep courses offered for students.
  • Questions

  • Only offer 1000 practice questions. This may not be a problem because there are 9 practice exams offered.

Kaplan Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Number of practice exams
  • Different types of prep courses offered
  • Cons

  • No essay feedback option
  • Low number of practice questions

Kaplan Summary

The Kaplan ACT prep course is the digital extension of the pioneering educational company – Kaplan – an educational company that has been in existence for more than 80 years. The Kaplan ACT prep course includes more than 1000 practice questions and 9 ACT practice tests.

The course is 100% online and self-paced and is open to students for 6 months. There are study plans available to students to keep them on track. Kaplan provides over 25 hours of on-demand lessons to students to help comprehend different concepts. 

Kaplan offers a couple of different packages for students looking to enroll in an ACT prep course. The most affordable one is the 6-month self-paced course that is available for $299. Another option offered is the live online ACT prep course.

This course is available for $499 and is an online classroom setting taught by teachers. They also offer the unlimited prep option and covers materials on the PSAT, ACT, and SAT. This option is $1299 and is available through December of your senior year of high school. 

Kaplan offers a similar higher score guarantee as Princeton Review. If you do not achieve a higher score, you can take the course again for free or get your money back. Kaplan does not offer a free trial for their ACT prep courses. 

Best Kaplan ACT Feature – 9 ACT practice tests available.

Kaplan logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Good course for students who are looking for a prep course with a high number of practice exams.

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PrepScholar ACT Prep Review

PrepScholar logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $397

Visit PrepScholar ACT

PrepScholar Feature Summary

  • Price

  • On the more expensive side of ACT prep courses. 12 months of access to course.
  • Guarantee

  • +4-point score improvement guarantee.
  • Content

  • 100 hours of instructional material. Uses 3 real ACT exams that have been administered in past.
  • Questions

  • 2400+ practice questions. 5 practice exams.

PrepScholar Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Number of practice questions
  • Number of practice exams
  • Study plan offered
  • Cons

  • No essay feedback option
  • No score predictor
  • -

PrepScholar Summary

PrepScholar’s ACT prep course offers over 100 hours of instructional material and over 2400 practice questions. The course covers all sections of the ACT and is tailored to cover material on the current ACT.

The course uses 3 real ACT’s that have been administered in the past. PrepScholar prides themselves on using videos as supplemental material and not just being a “collection of videos.”

The course follows a simple process – learn the ACT content and various strategies that will help you, drill down the content with realistic ACT questions, then review your mistakes so they will not be made again. The course was created by a team of ACT experts who scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. 

The most popular option is available for $397 and is completely online. This course is open to students for 12 months and includes 5 real practice tests.

The other option they offer is their classroom option. This course costs $895 and includes everything the online course offers as well as online classes led by experts.

Best PrepScholar Feature – Overall content provided.

PrepScholar logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Solid course for anyone looking for a good balance of practice questions and practice exams. A little pricey.

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Petersons ACT Review

Petersons logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $234

Visit Petersons ACT

Peterson's Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Relatively cheap compared to other prep courses.
  • Guarantee

  • No guarantee for this course. Not the end of the world but only course without one.
  • Content

  • They do not use videos to teach material. This could be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for.
  • Questions

  • Use of flashcards and subject-based lesson questions is unique. 3 practice exams offered.

Peterson's Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Price
  • Study plan offered
  • Cons

  • No score guarantee
  • No essay feedback or score predictor

Peterson's Summary

Peterson’s ACT prep course is an online self-paced course. They offer 3 ACT practice tests that are fully aligned with the most recent ACT exam. The ACT prep course works on all mobile devices, tablets and computers so it can be accessed anywhere.

The course offers written subject-based lessons on various ACT topics to help drill down the material before taking the test. One of the most useful features is the use of flashcards to help remember content faster. 

Peterson’s is based on a monthly subscription. The best deal offered allows users to sign up for $234 for 6 months ($39/month). They also offer a 3-month plan for $45/month and a monthly plan for $49/month. When you sign up for Peterson’s, you get access to all their other test prep materials, including their SAT materials and other AP class materials. 

There is not a free trial or a guarantee offered by Peterson’s. 

Best Peterson's Feature – Flashcards and mini quizzes.

Petersons logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Different course layout and design when compared to other traditional ACT prep courses.

Visit Petersons ACT

ACT Prep Courses FAQ

What is the best test prep for ACT?

After reviewing numerous courses, we found that Magoosh and Princeton Review were the best ACT prep courses. Magoosh was our choice for best value while Princeton Review was our choice for the best bundled option.

Prep Expert was our choice for most comprehensive ACT prep course.

Are ACT prep classes worth it?

ACT prep classes are a great way to learn new material and refresh yourself on old material. Some factors to consider might be your budget, learning style, and self-discipline. ACT prep classes will help identify strengths and weaknesses, simulate the actual test, and provide a study plan.

What are the best ACT and SAT prep courses?

The best ACT and SAT prep course bundle we reviewed was Princeton Review. However, if you are only concerned with the ACT, these are our top choices.

Is a 34 on the ACT good?

A 34 on the ACT is very good. Sometimes ACT scores are hard to interpret. Students who score a 34 on the ACT are in the 98th percentile of people who take the ACT exam.

How much does ACT prep cost?

ACT prep costs will vary depending on the type of service you register for. Online prep courses can range from $99 to $497. Magoosh was rated as our best value prep course for $99.

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Last update: 10/27/2021

Disclaimer: Not affiliated with or endorsed by ACT, Inc. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. and is used here solely for purposes of identification.

Our Review Process 

We take our recommendations very seriously. Our team inspects various prep courses to find the best of the best.

We look past all of the marketing and fluff of these companies and look for features that ACTUALLY help users.

Our dedicated team of reviewers take many factors into consideration when reviewing prep courses.

We are always updating our reviews to reflect changes in the marketplace.

We take pride in remaining as unbiased as possible. All of the courses on our lists are the best of the best.

We are excited to announce our new ranking factor for most of our prep course rankings - Social Score.

This new (proprietary) ranking factor was developed by our data science team and takes into consideration what people are saying about the courses on the internet. A truly UNBIASED opinion. 

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