Get Into Your Top College
If you’re preparing for college, you probably already know that taking the ACT or SAT test is a necessary step.
Both test for the same thing: college aptitude. A high score can land you in the college of your dreams.
You may receive a partial scholarship or even a full ride.
Is the ACT Right for Me?
Which test you take depends on your personal preferences, and these are just some of the reasons why you might choose the ACT over the SAT test.
- The ACT has been around much longer in its current form, so there are more study materials to choose from
- The SAT test takes three hours to complete with an optional 50 minute essay, while the ACT takes only 2 hours and 55 minutes (with an optional 40 minute writing test)
- Many industry experts consider the ACT to be more straightforward.
- The ACT asks for the “correct” answer, while the SAT asks for the “best” answer. This means the SAT can have two correct answers but only one is the “right” answer
- The ACT has a much more predictable structure and content than the SAT, so it easier to prepare in advance
How Can I Prepare for the ACT?
So now that you’ve decided to take the ACT instead of the SAT (or maybe you’re taking both) it’s important to be prepared.
You will feel much more confident going into the test, and your score will reflect your hard work.
One of the best ways to prepare is to take an ACT prep course.
Whether your scores aren’t where they need to be, you’re just an anxious tester, or you just love being prepared (way to go!) an ACT prep course will help you take your skills to the next level.
Is an Online ACT Prep Course Right for Me?
An online ACT prep course offers students a happy medium between the rigors of in-person preparation classes and the difficulties of self-prep.
If you’re a student that can work independently (but may need a little help being accountable) an online ACT prep course might be perfect for you.
It is also beneficial to have the knowledge and support of ACT experts who know the secrets to getting a high score.
What Should I Look for in an Online ACT Prep Course?
A quality ACT prep course will be led by an expert who received a high score on the test.
For example, a score in the 99th percentile is ideal.
Also, your class should give out high-quality homework assignments and/or additional prep materials to study with.
This may also include study reminders and feedback to keep you on track.
Last but not least, the best ACT prep courses will offer guaranteed score results.
This means a money-back guarantee if your score doesn’t raise a certain amount of points.
This is important because you can feel confident that the course works for students with different experience levels and learning styles.
There are many good in-person ACT prep classes, but today we’ll be looking at the top 5 online options so you can study anytime, anywhere.
The 5 Best Online ACT Prep Courses
1. Prep Scholar Online ACT Prep
$895 ($498 for existing PrepScholar students)
- Prep Scholar offers a 4-point or higher increase in your ACT score or your money back
- Classes are live in a virtual classroom. This means you can ask your teacher questions in real-time about any concepts to seem confusing using an interactive whiteboard.
- Their curriculum includes a 90-minute test to gauge your proficiency level, an overview of basic exam topics like grammar and algebra, live classroom sessions, and practice tests.
- You can choose your own schedule with courses lasting anywhere from two to five weeks
- Teachers have all scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT, so you can feel confident in their teaching abilities
- Class sizes are limited to only 9 students to ensure that every student receives personalized instruction
- You only get nine total hours of actual class time. The rest of the program is spent completing homework assignments and accessing their online “Complete Prep Program”
- Their 4 point Improvement only goes up to 34+. So If your final score is 34 or above, their guarantee doesn’t apply
- The lessons are text-based, without interactive content such as videos and audio.
- Teachers are slow to grade essays
2. Magoosh Online ACT Prep
- 1 month $79
- 3 months: $89
- 12 months: $99
- You only have to study for 20 minutes a day
- 7 day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied
- 4 points score improvement guarantee
- Video explanations for every question make for an interactive experience
- Personalized assistance from ACT test experts
- Text message reminders to help you reach your goals
- Over 1,300 practice questions, up to 4 practice tests, and over 250 video lessons
- Data driven score prediction
- Instructors use answers and feedback from thousands of students to make sure that the difficulty and types of questions in Magoosh ACT match those on the actual test
- 4 week free trial (no score guarantee)
- Magoosh won’t grade your essays
- You’ll need to purchase a “premium plan” to receive Magoosh’s diagnostic test. The “free” practice tests are self-scored
- Magoosh’s ACT prep courses are completely self-paced. This is not recommended for students that need a high level of accountability and guidance
3. ACT Online Prep (official)
$40 for six months (with options for low-income students)
- Made by the creators of the ACT exam, so you can feel confident that the material is accurate and timely
- Practice questions and tests are taken from real questions from previous exams
- A free mobile app is included with your purchase
- Subscriptions last 6 months- giving you plenty of study time
- 450 Flashcards customized for your review needs
- This course includes a game center where you can even compete with friends in different challenges. This helps students stay engaged and have fun
- Diagnostic test offered when you purchase the course
- Two learning modes: go through the entire program and study all the materials or use their automated program which helps improve your weakest areas
- Two practice writing prompts if you plan on taking the (optional) written portion of the test
- No live classes or direct communication with tutors/teachers. It is 100% self-study
- There are no refunds offered
- Customer service can be difficult to reach, according to reviews of the program
- The only possible payment method is with a credit card: no PayPal or Payoneer
4. Princeton Review Online ACT Prep
- Self-Paced course: $299
- Private Tutoring: $150/hour
- Ultimate package: $899 ACT
- 31+ guarantee package: $1599
- 18 hours of focused class time
- 3 proctored practice tests
- You’re guaranteed to score higher– or your money back. They also offer a full refund if you’re unsatisfied for any reason
- Live courses with tutors, as well as self-paced materials that let you work at your own speed
- Access to the course’s online materials for one year
- Two mobile apps: one for parents and one for students
- Plenty of video content to hammer home tough concepts
- A variety of options available when selecting a course type
- AI driven practice: the system will present the right problem types at the right levels to help you overcome your weaknesses.
- 96% of students saw an improvement in their grades. In addition, 4 out of five students get into their top-choice schools after using their program
- Reviews suggest that subjects are not always covered in enough depth- leading some students to seek out more detailed courses
- Complaints of live classes getting cancelled at the last minute
- Teachers may not be as experienced as their competitors
- Customer service could be much better, with some students never hearing back
5. Peterson’s Online ACT Prep
$40 per month
- Flashcards & mini-quizzes to test your skills
- 3 practice tests, with questions that closely match the exam
- over 50 exclusively written subject-based lessons from Peterson’s test prep experts
- More than just test prep: Peterson’s offers college admissions coaching, writing help, and scholarship databases
- The option to choose a short, medium, or long program based on when you’re scheduled to take the ACT
- Course includes games and interactive learning
- Access the online course materials for 12 months after purchase
- Study from your phone, tablet, or computer
- A diagnostic test that maps out your strengths and weaknesses
- Extremely personalized study plans
- No direct interaction with tutors
- The 3 practice tests are self-scored with video explanations
- The ACT online book component and ACT practice tests are sold separately from the ACT online prep course (each priced at $40 per month) this can get pricey if you want the full package
Start Studying for the ACT Today!
While these are some of the top 5 online ACT prep courses to take in 2020, there are hundreds of options to choose from.
It’s important to choose a program that works for you- both financially and according to your learning preferences.
No matter what option you choose, feel assured that an ACT prep course will set you up for success and help you get into the college of your choice.