If you are planning to pursue your undergraduate studies abroad, you will most likely need to take a few entrance tests like ACT or SAT. There are a variety of books available when it comes to preparing for these tests. Choosing from these books can be confusing and you need to make sure that you choose the best and high quality books available out there which can enable you to prepare your level best for the entrance tests.
Stay with us till the end to discover the best ACT books to ace your preparation! These ACT books will guide you through your overall study and subject-wise study!
Table Of Contents
What is ACT?
ACT is an entrance exam used by colleges and universities to make admission decisions. ACT is mostly used for undergraduate admissions. It's a multiple choice, pencil and paper test. The main purpose of this test is to measure if a high-school student can cope up with the academic rigour of the university or a college.
- The test is 2hr 55 minutes long and comprises four sections - English, Reading, Maths & Science.
- Each section of the ACT is scored on a 1 to 36 point scale. Your composite ACT score is the average of your four section scores, also on a scale from 1 to 36.
Using an ACT preparation book will help you navigate through all the ACT sections smoothly.
It is important to remember that every book has pros and cons and using only one book to prepare for ACT might not be sufficient. Thus, we have put together a bunch of books suitable for every section that you can easily refer to.
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Most Important ACT Books
Let us now straightaway move on to discovering the most important and best ACT books, to help you prepare the best for your ACT exam:
- The Official ACT Prep Guide (Red Book)
Amazon Price: Rs. 2,333
This book is extremely critical when it comes to preparing for the ACT and every student must have it regardless of their level or target scores. The best ACT study book is made by the test makers themselves, that means, it has the practice questions that are the best representations of what you'll see on the test. They were actually already given on the test, on past administrations of the ACT.
Pros: Has the best sample questions and all the past year’s questions.
Cons: Does not cover enough test-taking strategies and not the most thorough when it comes to reviewing concepts & giving answer explanations.
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Best ACT Books For Overall Study
This section will make you acquainted with the best ACT books for your overall study. These books cover all the sections and are a great source for preparing all the sections effectively.
- Barron’s ACT Premium Study Guide
Amazon Price: Rs 2,089 for paperback version, Rs 897 for kindle edition
This is the best ACT test prep book for overall study and addresses all the sections of ACT. This book is a top choice for strategies like managing time, recognizing questions, speed reading the passages etc. This book can also be used as a great learning tool and can be used along with the red book so you can apply what you learnt.
Pros: Gives a thorough knowledge on various test-taking tactics, strategies and practice questions.
Cons: The practice questions in this book are way harder than real ACT questions.
- Princeton Review’s Premium ACT Prep
Amazon Price: Rs 2,462 for paperback edition, Rs 410 for kindle edition
This is yet another best ACT test prep book for overall preparation. It suggests various methods to prepare for the ACT test like the thought processes to use while taking the test, time management, solving various difficult and confusing questions. It also guides on how to solve all the sections in the ACT test. The book also has various practice tests which can be very useful.
Pros: Through knowledge on strategies to use during tests.
Cons: The book is quite big and thus it can feel overwhelming and be difficult to approach.
- The ACT Black Book
Amazon Price: Rs 2,668 for paperback version, Rs 1,170 for kindle version
Unlike the two books mentioned above, ACT black book only focuses more on making you understand how the test works and less on the sections in the test and the skills required to ace them.
Pros: Great emphasis on how to think and how the test works.
Cons: No practice questions and doesn’t tell you how to solve the questions.
- Up Your Score: ACT, The Underground guide
Amazon Price: Rs 405 for paperback version, Rs 384 for kindle version
This book takes a fun approach to ACT preparation and offers various test-taking strategies. This particular study book also talks about issues of stress and pressure surrounding the tests and offers advice for taming your nerves. If you are just starting out with your ACT preparation, this book is for you.
Pros: Simple language and easy to understand. Gives great tips.
Cons: Might not be sufficient if you use it as your only source of test prep.
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Best ACT Preparation Books According To Subjects
It is crucial that you understand all the sections in the ACT properly in order to ace the test. We have discussed a few subject-specific books below that will help you develop skills and will suggest strategies relating to that particular subject.
Best Books For ACT Maths
- Ultimate Guide To Math ACT
Amazon Price: Rs 2,205 for paperback, Rs 334 for Kindle edition
The best ACT prep book gives a clear idea on all the topics covered in ACT Maths. It also gives various strategies and tips to solve math problems fast and effectively. The book covers absolutely everything that you must know about ACT maths and doesn't go beyond the syllabus.
Pros: Clear and concise strategies and explanations for math problems.
Cons: Steps of solving a math problem are not present in the book.
- McGraw Hill’s Top 50 Skills For Math
Amazon Price: Rs 1,248
The top ACT prep book is known to be written in a very engaging way and it discusses 50 important maths skills required to crack ACT maths. The book also has sample questions explaining each concept. This book has a diagnostic pre-test you can use to assess your skills starting out, as well as a post-test to gauge your progress, and two extra tests online.
Pros: The book describes various problem solving steps in detail.
Cons: Limited practice questions
Best Books For ACT English & Reading
- Erica Meltzer’s the complete guide to ACT English
Amazon Price: Rs 2,391.33 for paperback version
This ACT study book for English explains various types of questions asked in the ACT English section and explains the important grammar and usage rules you need to answer the ACT English questions. There are also various practice questions grouped by skill so you can understand every rule properly.
Pros: Covers all the skills & rules you need to know.
Cons: Relatively expensive book
Suggested: Know about the ACT Writing Syllabus
- The Complete Guide To ACT Reading
Amazon Price: Rs 2,288.17 for paperback version
This ACT preparation book contains various reading passages and practice questions related to ACT Reading. The book prepares students really well to solve the questions and helps them develop skills required to ace the section as well as strategies to solve the section.
Pros: high quality & realistic practice questions and reading passages.
Cons: Relatively pricey book, the layout is not compelling, a bit dry writing style.
Best Books For ACT Science
- The PrepScholar Guide To ACT Science
Amazon Price: Rs 1,163 for paperback version, Rs 355.25 ($4) for kindle version
Many students find the Science section challenging. However, this is one of the best ACT books that gives an insight on all the topics, skills, strategies and question types you will see on ACT science. It is among the best ACT test prep books out there for ACT science and it contains all the topics required for ACT Science and makes students well versed with everything related to ACT science.
Pros: Covers every topic, skill, question related to ACT science.
Cons: There is no final quiz section at the end of the book.
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We hope that this article was able to give you an idea about all the ACT books you need for good preparation. Having said that, we do realise that the cost of ACT books is on a higher side but you can always go for the kindle version of the ACT books in order to save on the cost or you can only buy the books that you actually need and you feel will help you rather than buying all the books.
You can always get in touch with Yocket professionals to get more guidance on various entrance exams and study abroad processes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Preparation Books for ACT
Ques. Which ACT prep book should I refer for overall preparation?
Ans. If you need books that concentrate on overall ACT preparation and not just a particular section, you can refer to ACT preparation books like ‘Princeton Review’s premium ACT prep’, ‘Barron’s ACT premium study guide’, or the ‘ACT Black Book’.
Ques. Which is the best ACT prep book?
Ans. All the books mentioned in this book are great for ACT preparation. The best ACT study book will depend on your goals and targets. If you just need to focus on specific subjects then books focusing on that would be the best for you. Likewise ,if you wanna focus on overall preparation, books related to that would work the best for you.
Ques. How many books do I need to buy for ACT preparation?
Ans. It depends on your target. You can buy the ACT prep guide along with any book good for overall ACT preparation or you can buy subject-specific ACT preparation books.