Adam Groden Reviewed By: Adam Groden
Authored By: Dave Evangelisti
Best ACT Prep Courses

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Updated: August 5, 2022

Earn a top score on your ACT with our in-depth review of the best ACT prep courses.

Most colleges and universities require prospective students to submit an ACT or SAT score as part of the college admissions process. Achieving a high score on the ACT will not only help you in the admissions process, but also in earning additional scholarship opportunities.

We went into these ACT prep courses ourselves and looked around for things we liked and disliked. Get a better idea of these courses with actual screenshots and honest reviews below.

Summary: Choose the best ACT prep course for you by using our comprehensive reviews below. Screenshots included.

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Best ACT Test Prep Princeton Review Prep Expert Magoosh PrepScholar Kaplan Peterson's
  Princeton Review logo prep expert logo magoosh logo PrepScholar logo Kaplan logo Petersons logo
Rating
93

92

91

87

74

70
Best For Best Bundle Best for In-Depth Learning Best Value - - -
One of Our Picks T-G Recommended T-G Recommended T-G Recommended - - -
Pricing $599 $499 $699$399
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$948$116
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$397 $119 $49/month
Subscription Length 12 months 12 months 12 months 12 months 6 months Monthly
Free Trial
Guarantee Higher score guaranteed Higher score guaranteed +4 point improvement +4 point improvement No No
Practice Questions 3200+ 2100+ 1300+ 4300+ 2000+ -
Practice Exams 15 (SAT) 10 (ACT) 10 4 6 5 11
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, Phone Email, Chat, Phone Email, Chat Email Email Email
Summary Review Review Review Review Review Review
Learn More GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

Our Picks for Best ACT Prep Courses


Best ACT Course Video Review

Princeton Review: Best Bundle

TG Recommended
  • Best For

  • Students looking for both ACT and SAT prep
  • Students looking for high number of practice questions
  • Students looking for high number of practice exams

Key Decision Making Factors

  • 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. 10 ACT specific practice exams.

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
  • -

What to Expect - Hands on Walkthough

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 10 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 ACT Review Interactive Lesson

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.

Additional Screenshots

Click on the images to enlarge them

Princeton Review ACT Review Screenshot 1

Princeton Review ACT Review Screenshot 2

Princeton Review ACT Review Screenshot 3

Princeton Review ACT Review Screenshot 4

Princeton Review ACT Review Screenshot 5

Princeton Review ACT Review Screenshot 6

Key Features

  • 3200+ practice questions
  • 10 ACT specific practice exams
  • 280+ video lessons
  • SAT and ACT bundled together

Key Differences from Other ACT Prep Courses

  • Princeton Review offers a SAT and ACT bundle for those who are considering taking both exams

Differences from Previous Versions

  • Practice question review sessions added
  • AP online video lessons added

Other Useful Resources

TG Recommended
Princeton Review logo

Score: 93

  • Why Choose Princeton Review ACT

  • Very comprehensive
  • Great SAT and ACT bundle
  • # of practice questions and exams

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Prep Expert: Best for In-Depth Learning

TG Recommended
Prep Expert logo

Score: 92

Visit Prep Expert

  • Best For

  • Students looking for something comprehensive
  • Students looking to learn from the best instructors
  • Students looking for video answer explanations
Discounts:
TESTGUIDE300 Prep Expert: Save $300 on all live online and self-paced courses with code TESTGUIDE300
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Key Decision Making Factors

  • Price

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

  • Self-paced courses include a score improvement guarantee. Live classes include a 4-point guarantee.
  • Content

  • Best instructors of all the ACT prep courses we looked at. Proprietary strategies used.
  • Questions

  • 2100+ practice questions and 10 ACT practice tests. In the upper echelon.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

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

  • Interface could be more user friendly
  • -
  • -

What to Expect - Hands on Walkthrough

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 better explain things.

A live online ACT prep course course 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.

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 prep class 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.”

Prep Expert ACT Course Review Lesson Example

Additional Screenshots

Click on the images to enlarge them

Prep Expert ACT Review Screenshot 1

Prep Expert ACT Review Screenshot 2

Prep Expert ACT Review Screenshot 3

Prep Expert ACT Review Screenshot 4

Prep Expert ACT Review Screenshot 5

Prep Expert ACT Review Screenshot 6

Key Features

  • 2100+ practice questions
  • 10 practice exams
  • Videos from instructors who scored in the top 1%
  • Great course guarantee

Key Differences from Other ACT Courses

  • Top instructors
  • Video answer explanations (very in-depth)

Differences from Previous Versions

  • Addition of more instructors

Other Useful Resources

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TG Recommended
Prep Expert logo

Score: 92

  • Why Choose Prep Expert ACT

  • Very comprehensive
  • Expert instructors
  • Video answer explanations

Visit Prep Expert

Savings:
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Magoosh: Best Value

TG Recommended
Magoosh logo

Score: 91

Visit Magoosh

  • Best For

  • Someone shopping on a budget
  • Someone who wants a score predictor
  • Someone looking for a good study planner
Discounts:
TESTGUIDE1 EXCLUSIVE: Save 10% off all Magoosh ACT Courses with code TESTGUIDE1
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Key Decision Making Factors

  • Price

  • Our choice for best value. Offerings and price are top of class.
  • 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.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

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

  • Relatively low number of exams
  • -
  • -

What to Expect - Hands on Walkthough

Magoosh’s ACT prep course is one of the most affordable prep courses available. The course is $116 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 the student has and which areas the student would like to improve the most. You can even register for text notifications if you want to be ultra "plugged-in."

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 $116.

Magoosh 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. This feature helps you track your progress and motivate you to continue studying hard.

Magoosh ACT Math Dashboard

Additional Screenshots

Click on the images to enlarge them

Magoosh ACT Review Screenshot 1

Magoosh ACT Review Screenshot 2

Magoosh ACT Review Screenshot 3

Magoosh ACT Review Screenshot 4

Magoosh ACT Review Screenshot 5

Key Features

  • 1300+ practice questions
  • 4 practice exams
  • 250+ video lessons
  • Video answer explanations
  • Score predictor

Key Differences from Other ACT Courses

  • Video answer explanations are in-depth
  • Score predictor is a cool feature
  • Nice and easy user interface

Differences from Previous Versions

  • Improved technology like score predictor
  • Text notifications to keep you on track

Other Useful Resources

  • Magoosh ACT Review - Our team takes a deeper dive into Magoosh and their various offerings.

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TG Recommended
Magoosh logo

Score: 91

  • Why Choose Magoosh ACT

  • Very affordable
  • User interface
  • Score predictor

Visit Magoosh

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

PrepScholar
PrepScholar logo

Score: 87

Visit PrepScholar

  • Best For

  • Someone looking for practice questions
  • Someone looking for a weekly report that can be sent to both parents and students

Key Decision Making Factors

  • 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 6 real ACT exams that have been administered in past.
  • Questions

  • 4300+ practice questions. 6 practice exams.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Number of practice questions
  • Number of video hours
  • 99th percentile instructors
  • Cons

  • No added features/anything "special"
  • No score predictor
  • -

What to Expect - Hands on Walkthrough

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 6 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.”

PrepScholar has the most practice questions of all the ACT courses our team looked at. In total, PrepScholar has 4300+ practice questions.

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.

In order to keep everyone on the same page, PrepScholar sends out a weekly email report of your progress and how much time was spent studying. This report can be sent to both parents and students, so everyone will be on the same page. Our team thought this was a unique and interesting feature.

The most popular option is available for $397 and is completely online. This course is open to students for 12 months and includes 6 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.

Key Features

  • 4300+ practice questions
  • 6 practice exams
  • 100 hours of video content
  • Emailed reports

Key Differences from Other ACT Courses

  • Number of practice questions
  • 99th percentile instructors
  • Emailed reports to both students and parents

Differences from Previous Versions

  • Addition of emailed reports
  • Added practice questions
PrepScholar
PrepScholar logo

Score: 87

  • Why Choose PrepScholar ACT

  • High number of practice questions
  • Tons of video content
  • Weekly reports emailed out

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Kaplan Review

Kaplan
Kaplan logo

Score: 74

Visit Kaplan

  • Best For

  • Someone shopping on a budget
  • Someone who likes shorter videos

Key Decision Making Factors

  • Price

  • $119 for the course. Students only get access for 6 months.
  • Guarantee

  • No course guarantee for the self-paced course. Not the end of the world, but nice to have.
  • Content

  • 30 on-demand lessons which are shorter in length.
  • Questions

  • 2000+ practice questions. 5 official practice tests included as well.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Price
  • Respectable amount of practice questions
  • Cons

  • No study plan
  • No course guarantee

What to Expect - Hands on Walkthough

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 2000 practice questions and 5 ACT practice tests.

The course is 100% online and self-paced and is open to students for 6 months. Kaplan provides more than 30 on-demand lessons to students to help comprehend different concepts. The lessons are shorter in length and designed to help students fit their ACT studies into their already busy lives.

One downfall of this course is the lack of study plan. While this is not the end of the world, we would like to see a detailed study plan.

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 $119. Another option offered is the live online ACT prep course.

This live online ACT course is available for $549 and is an online classroom setting taught by teachers. They also offer the unlimited prep option which covers materials on the PSAT, ACT, and SAT. This option is $1999 and is available through December of your senior year of high school.

The self-paced course includes 30 on-demand lessons. While the lessons are helpful, there are significantly less lessons in this course versus the other value option, Magoosh.

Key Features

  • 2000 practice questions
  • 5 practice exams
  • 30 instructional lessons

Key Differences from Other ACT Prep Courses

  • Pricepoint
  • Shorter video lessons

Differences from Previous Versions

  • Addition of more practice questions
Kaplan
Kaplan logo

Score: 74

  • Why Choose Kaplan ACT

  • Price
  • Short, concise videos

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Petersons Review

Petersons
Petersons logo

Score: 70

Visit Petersons

  • Best For

  • Someone looking for a monthly subscription

Key Decision Making Factors

  • Price

  • Cheap option if you only plan on studying for a couple months.
  • Guarantee

  • No guarantee for this course. Not the end of the world but would be nice to have.
  • Content

  • Videos are not a core focus. Could be a good or bad thing depending on how you learn.
  • Questions

  • Use of flashcards and subject-based lesson questions is unique. 11 practice exams offered.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Monthly subscription
  • Study guide content learning
  • Cons

  • No score guarantee
  • No set question bank

What to Expect - Hands On Walkthrough

Petersons ACT prep course is an online self-paced course. They offer 11 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. 

Petersons takes a relatively different approach to learning versus other providers - they use study guide content to teach the material. While they do have videos that feature step-by-step tutorials from experts, these are not a core focus.

Petersons 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.

Peterson's does not offer a free trial or a guarantee.

Key Features

  • 900 written lessons
  • 11 full-length exams
  • College admissions information and timelines
  • Access to other prep materials for other tests

Key Differences from Other ACT Courses

  • Montly membership
  • Access to other test prep if needed

Differences from Previous Versions

  • Added video content
Petersons
Petersons logo

Score: 70

  • Why Choose Petersons ACT

  • Monthly subscription
  • Study content learning focused instead of videos

Peterson's

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How to Choose an ACT Course

Selecting the right ACT prep course can be the difference between getting into you top choice college or not. There are a wide range of options available. Our goal is to help you understand your options and choose the best ACT prep course based on your needs.

What to Consider When Purchasing an ACT Prep Course

There are many important things to consider when purchasing ACT prep. However, the most important thing to consider is your specific needs. For example, if you learn best from taking practice exams, you should choose a course that has a lot of practice exams and great answer explanations.

Price

Price is the first thing many students consider when purchasing ACT prep. While this is an important factor, it should not be the only factor. Students should look at ACT prep as an investment in their future. Choosing a course that works for you will be more important than the price in the long-run.

Content

Content is another thing many students think about when preparing to make a purchase. Most ACT prep courses will include plenty of content. The key is finding the provider/product that offers content that fits your needs and learning style. If you enjoy reading books, pick an option that includes physical textbooks.

Other Factors to Consider

Some other factors to consider include:

  • Study discipline - if you routinely have trouble maintaining a study schedule, you'll find that a prep course could be worth it.
  • 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 -match one of the above best ACT prep courses to your learning style.

Alternatives: Do I Need an ACT Prep Course?

ACT prep may not be for everyone. It can be very expensive with some options costing more than $800. Some students prefer to learn in an in-person setting, if this is the case, you may not excel with an online ACT prep course. Some students just do not have the time or prefer to study themselves, both of which are completely fine.

Here are some alternatives to consider:

Methodology: How We Tested ACT Prep Courses

We looked at 10+ different ACT prep options before narrowing it down to 6 of the best ACT prep options. Our team then went into these courses and worked their way through the courses as if they were a student. We looked for things that students would actually find useful.

After spending ample time actually inside these courses, we gave the courses different ratings for 5 different criteria. Each of those criteria are assigned a weight which helps us arrive at a final weighted score.

For more details, read about our independent review process.

FAQS About ACT Prep

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 best for in-depth learning.

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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