Updated September 28, 2020
ACT scores are a key part of your college application. They can be the tipping point that gets you accepted to your dream school.
There are LOTS of ACT course options out there. Whether you like to walk yourself through a course or want to have personal assistance; whether you have a year to study or just a month; whether you want to learn through video lessons or just drill practice questions, there is a course for everyone.
How do you know which option is right for you? We’ve made it EASY! We’ve personally researched and reviewed every major ACT prep course. The comparison chart below looks all of the top ACT courses to help you figure out which ACT course is best for you!
Please note that several of the links included below are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we may earn a referral commission if you use one of the courses below. Only use the links if you have been helped by our review!
Top ACT Prep Courses Compared & Exclusive Discounts
|COMPANY||Magoosh ACT||Prep Expert ACT||PrepScholar ACT||Princeton Review ACT||Olive Book ACT||Testive ACT||Kaplan ACT|
|STARTING PRICE||$948 $79
|GUARANTEE||+4 point improvement guarantee||4-point improvement guarantee||4-point improvement guarantee||Higher Score Guarantee||Higher Score Guarantee||Higher Score Guarantee||Higher Score Guarantee|
Available for Purchase
|STUDENT SUPPORT||Chat & Email Support||Chat & email support||Phone & email support||Personal coach||Email Support||Personal coach||Email, phone, social media, & chat support|
|ONLINE ACCESS||1 Year||1 year (self-paced) or course + 60 days||1 Year||With active subscription||6 Months||With active subscription||Course + 12 weeks|
|MORE DETAILS||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review|
|GET STARTED||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now||Start Now|
Quick Links to ACT Prep Courses and Study Materials
ACT Prep Course Rankings
Magoosh ACT (Rank: #1)
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a Self-Paced Online program, Magoosh offers one of the best online ACT prep options, with a good combination of features and price.
Bottom Line: Prep Expert’s ACT prep courses boast expert instructors and a stellar score improvement guarantee that make them a great option for any ACT student looking to drastically improve their score. The $50 Visa gift card they offer with purchase is a nice bonus, too.
PrepScholar ACT (Rank: #3)
Bottom Line: Though they’re a little less mobile-friendly than other services in their price range, PrepScholar provides students with a great ACT score improvement guarantee for their various course packages, which come with personalized schedules and assignments for each student; these features easily put PrepScholar up with the top competitors in the ACT course market.
Bottom Line: The Princeton Review offers one of the best act prep courses, with top-quality instruction and premium features, but at a steeper price.
Olive Book ACT (Rank: #5)
Bottom Line: Rather than focusing on maximizing the volume of practice materials, Olive Book instead doubled down on affordability and home-run ACT video explanations. These items make Olive Book SAT a good option for visual learners, educators, or students with financial need.
Testive ACT (Rank: #6)
Bottom Line: If access to a live coach and constant feedback are your preferred methods of test prep, then Testive might just be the right choice for you! Although they only offer Live Online style course formats, they are less expensive than similar plans from other companies.
Kaplan ACT (Rank: #7)
Bottom Line: In the high-end price range, The Princeton Review and PrepScholar are a bit ahead of Kaplan ACT prep in lesson quality.
ACT Online Prep (Rank: #8)
Bottom Line: ACT Online Prep is an affordable way to access thousands of previous ACT practice questions, making it one of the best online ACT prep options, but it doesn’t provide in-depth instruction. If you’re interested in a live online course, ACT Online Prep’s partnership with Kaplan is a decent deal.
Princeton Review vs. Kaplan ACT Prep
When you look into the top prep courses for almost any standardized test, these two names are bound to come up. The Princeton Review and Kaplan are some of the most well-established brands in the test prep industry, and the variety of their offerings means that both will have an ACT prep course to suit just about any student. Although these prep services are both dependable and somewhat similar, there are subtle differences to their course packages that will probably make one or the other a slightly better ACT course option for you.
Course Options and Price
The Princeton Review and Kaplan are the two largest and oldest test prep companies on our list, and they both offer their ACT prep courses in more formats than any other company. For the self-paced and live online courses, Kaplan’s ACT prep courses are generally a little cheaper than The Princeton Review’s, especially when taking their discounts into account, but the course prices are still very similar. For students looking for a private tutor, they would likely get a better deal through The Princeton Review’s private ACT tutor service. Although The Princeton Review’s ACT courses are slightly more expensive, they do offer both ACT and SAT prep materials with their self-paced course, all at the same price. This is a great deal for students who plan on taking both tests or for those who haven’t decided which to take yet. Lastly, although both companies have live online ACT courses with a higher score guarantee, The Princeton Review’s score guarantees are generally more robust than Kaplan’s. For instance, they offer a more expensive live online course called the ACT 31+, which guarantees that students will score a 31 or higher on the test, putting them in the top 4% of all ACT test-takers. On top of that, students who aren’t satisfied with their test score after taking a Princeton Review course can retake their course absolutely free, even if the score they received was higher than an earlier test.
Although these companies are a lot alike, The Princeton Review’s ACT prep courses are a bit more varied and include more features than Kaplan’s, though they come at a slightly higher price. For students looking for a better score guarantee or an ACT and SAT course package, go with The Princeton Review’s ACT prep. For those who’d like a slightly cheaper, but still high-quality prep experience, choosing Kaplan’s ACT prep courses is a good way to go.
Magoosh vs. PrepScholar ACT Prep
These two courses both advertise their highly-personalized materials, which students can access at their own pace. However, it’s clear that Magoosh ACT prep services and PrepScholar ACT prep courses are provided at vastly different prices and with different teaching styles.
Course Options and Price
Magoosh is one of the few top ACT prep courses that only offers self-paced online, and when compared to PrepScholar’s expansive ACT prep course offerings, it’s clear that PrepScholar has more variety for students that need specific teaching styles for their ACT prep. PrepScholar also has more customizable ACT prep materials and scheduling than most prep courses, but they don’t hold a candle to Magoosh when it comes to true customizability and accessibility. Magoosh ACT prep comes in the form of an app that is highly-optimized for web and mobile use, and which students can navigate and practice on at whatever pace they please. Lastly, Magoosh’s ACT prep is way cheaper than PrepScholar’s ACT prep, even though both come with the same 4-point score improvement guarantee.
PrepScholar provides a more standard ACT prep experience, but Magoosh ACT prep’s cheap price, user-friendly experience, and high score improvement guarantee make it the top option for anyone willing to do their ACT prep in a self-paced online format.
Best ACT Prep App
#1 Magoosh ACT Practice Apps
This ACT Prep app is the leader of the pack for good reason. Created by ACT experts, students can choose between the Magoosh ACT Flashcard app and the Magoosh ACT Test Prep app. Each one gives great resources but with different focuses. The Test Prep app comes complete with over 80 lessons and loads of strategies and tips for tackling the ACT, while the flashcard app zeroes in on core concepts for math, science, and English. Magoosh has made its name on mobile test prep, so if you are looking for the best ACT mobile app then look no further.
#2 Kaplan ACT Study App
Kaplan once again found a way to cram their full prep course into a tiny ACT mobile app, giving students access to all of the lessons, practice questions, and test-taking strategies that they are getting with their full prep course package. Plus, there is always the Kaplan Qbank App, which is the perfect ACT prep app for helping students maximize their time and minimize their effort by organizing customizable quiz packages based on difficulty, subject matter, or frequency.
Best ACT Flashcards
#1 Princeton Review ACT Flashcards
The Princeton Review ACT Flashcards give students the best quick-study resource for the ACT on our list. They include 500 cards that cover all 5 test sections (reading, writing, math, science, English) as well as 50 bonus cards for general tips and strategies. These cards also come paired with an option to review them online, combining two of the most effective study methods—online and in-hand. With such comprehensive coverage and a reasonable price of $13, The Princeton Review provides students with the best option for ACT prep flashcards.
#2 Magoosh ACT Flashcards
Magoosh offers students 300 online and mobile ACT flashcards that can be accessed completely FREE. The cards cover all ACT topics, from reading to math to science. The fact that they come free and are so easily accessible puts them near the top of the list, despite 300 feeling like a pretty low number of cards. It would also be nice to have physical cards available, since a lot of students find that cards in-hand help them learn.
How much do ACT prep courses cost?
ACT prep courses, like most things, have a range of prices. Nowadays, most ACT test prep services offer both budget-friendly and more expensive options, so you may be able to find an ACT course in your price range through any of these top ACT prep companies.
A low-price ACT prep course can range from as low as $100 to as high as $400. These lower-price ACT courses are often self-paced, rather than taught in-person or through live class sessions. To see an example of what these courses look like, check out Magoosh’s 1-month ACT prep package. Although they don’t usually include live instruction, courses like these come with plenty of material and instructive lessons that can seriously improve your ACT scores.
On the higher-end side of the spectrum, expensive ACT prep services have list prices between $1,000 and $2,000+. Prep Expert’s In-Person Flagship 6-week ACT Prep Courseis a great example of this type of course, which often includes more intensive personal instruction.
Mid-range ACT prep courses can cost anywhere between the $400 mark and the $1,000 mark, and plenty of these are offered by the top courses we’ve listed here. Finding out which ACT prep course meets your needs without breaking the bank just takes a little bit of research. To see the specifics of what good ACT course packages include, check out our full reviews—such as our review of The Princeton Review’s ACT Prep Courses. That will give you a good idea of what various ACT prep courses from top companies cost, and what they offer in return.
What ACT prep courses are near me?
Although online learning has become much more popular in recent years, there are still countless students out there that prefer in-person learning over sitting at a screen. Luckily, plenty of the best ACT prep companies offer in-person ACT prep courses around the country.
Out of all the top test prep companies on our list, The Princeton Review’s ACT prep and Kaplan’s ACT prep are the most likely to be hosted near you. These companies hold in-person courses around the country, which are taught by their instructors and hosted at local institutions. These two companies are some of the most well-established brands in the industry, so you know that they’re a great option if you want to opt for something a little less virtual.
What is the top ACT prep course?
Each ACT prep course offers something different, and with vastly different prices, teaching strategies, and philosophies, every one of the top ACT courses on our list has something to offer everyone. Even with all of this variety, one course stands out to us as providing the most content for the best value: Magoosh ACT prep.
With Magoosh’s cheapest ACT prep course package, students receive access to tested study schedules, hundreds of video lessons, and thousands of practice ACT questions and study materials—along with a fantastic 4-point score improvement guarantee—all for $100.
An ACT score improvement guarantee of 4 points is the best you’ll find among Magoosh’s competitors, and for such a low price, it’s hard to go wrong when you pick Magoosh ACT prep.
What is the best ACT prep book?
There are plenty of ACT prep books out there, many of which have been around for a long time. Some of the best books you’ll find, however, aren’t the standalone products you’ll find on Amazon—instead, the most helpful ACT book experience you can have usually happens thanks to books provided as part of an already-helpful ACT prep course.
Out of the top ACT prep courses on our list, there are a number of different options if you’re looking for good written material. The Princeton Review’s ACT prep includes their course books, which draw upon their years of experience as one of the biggest names in the industry. Prep Expert’s ACT courses also include a thorough 6 book series with each of their ACT prep courses; these books go over the test in general as well as each of the ACT’s individual sections. Lastly, Kaplan’s in-person, live online, and self-paced online ACT courses all include their most up-to-date ACT prep books; as we see it, each of these three companies’ books will serve you well as you prepare for the exam.
Because most ACT prep books are designed to accompany ACT prep courses, you probably won’t get the most out of them by just reading them on their own. Instead, if you know that reading is one of the methods that helps you learn best, check out some of the top ACT prep courses that we’ve mentioned here, and find out which ones offer enough reading material for you.
Top 10 Best ACT Prep Courses f0r 2021
|ACT Courses||Best For…||Course Price|
|Magoosh ACT||Best Value||$79|
|Prep Expert ACT||Top Instructors||$499|
|The Princeton Review ACT||Premium Features||$299|
|PrepScholar ACT Prep||Extended Access||$397|
|The Olive Book ACT||Visual Learning||$390|
|Testive ACT||Live Coaching||$399|
|Kaplan ACT||Printed Materials||$299|
|ACT Online Prep||Cheapest||$40|
|Barron’s ACT Prep||Practice Questions||$99|
|Kranse Institute ACT||Video Lessons||$599|