7 Best ACT Prep Courses in 2023 (Real User Review) 

 September 22, 2023

By  Chuky Ofoegbu

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Despite recent changes to standardized test requirements in many colleges, the ACT remains a crucial measure of college readiness. And the reality is that your student's ACT score (or lack thereof) can decide which schools they can get into and affect their ability to be awarded merit-based scholarships.

Given the importance of ACT scores, investing in an ACT prep program is one of the best ways to ensure your student's success in today's highly competitive college admissions landscape.

To help you choose an ACT prep course or prep program right for your student, we've purchased and spent several months reviewing many ACT prep courses on the market. Unlike most other review websites that never purchase nor use the courses that they recommend.

This way, we can be confident in making a solid recommendation based on your student's prep needs and ACT score goals.

Our ACT Prep Course Winners

Best Overall: PrepScholar

Runner Up: The Princeton Review 

Best Student Support: Prep Expert

Best Budget Self-Paced: Magoosh

Best ACT Practice Material: Kaplan

PrepScholar - Best Overall

PrepScholar offers premium courses with an emphasis on personalized learning. Their program measures students' performance as they go through the course and creates the most effective lesson plan. This customized approach can be helpful, as student quickly identify their weak areas and spend more prep time on these areas. 

Like many of the other top companies, PrepScholar offers a +4 point increase guarantee, with the possibility of a full refund. They also offer a free ACT consultation to help answer any questions about the test and determine what program is best for you. 

PrepScholar ACT Video lesson on the Math Section

PrepScholar boasts the largest ACT question bank. They have 4,300+ practice questions and detailed answer explanations for each one. Although your student is unlikely to use all 4,300 questions, this means they will have plenty of questions for any skill they need to practice. 

One advantage of PrepScholar is its vast library of materials. With over 70 ACT skill lessons and 51 skills to practice and master, they have any skill your student needs to learn.

They also offer 60 hours of high-quality instructional videos and up to six practice tests referenced from The Official ACT Prep Guide book, which they provide when you purchase any of their ACT prep packages. By referencing official ACT prep material, PrepScholar ensures that students are adequately prepared for the real ACT testing conditions. 

PrepScholar offers five different ACT packages. Their most popular is their self-paced Complete ACT Online Prep course. In addition, they have options that include expert-led classes and private tutoring. 

Alternatively, you can buy a self-paced course with two years of access and expedited support or a dual ACT and SAT prep course. They even offer a plan to pay for the self-paced course in monthly installments, making it a bit more affordable. 


  • All instructors/tutors have top 1% ACT scores 
  • Uses an adaptive learning algorithm to optimize each users ACT prep
  • Has the largest reserve of online ACT practice questions with over 4,000 quiz questions
  • References Official ACT practice questions and full tests


  • Live classes and private tutoring sessions are quite expensive 
  • Video lessons on the self-paced course could be made more engaging with on-camera instructors
  • Video-based answer explanations are not present on the majority of their online ACT questions
  • No on-demand access to an instructor

Princeton Review - Our Runner Up

The Princeton Review's ACT Prep course ranks highly on our ACT course ranking list for good reason. The Princeton Review is one of the oldest, most established test-prep companies. They are very reliable, with proven results delivered by highly qualified ACT prep instructors.

One of the Princeton Review's great features is its range of high-quality courses. For example, their most popular class puts students in the highest subset of test-takers with a 31+ point guarantee. They even offer tutoring with a 34+ point guarantee. In addition, students who aren't happy with their scores can retake the course for free. 

The Princeton Review's courses are generally comprehensive. For example, their Essentials course includes live classes, 24/7 on-demand tutoring, proctored tests, materials, and a student portal. In addition, the Princeton Review offers an essentials course, a self-paced course, private tutoring, and even on-demand college essay review. 

The Princeton Review's courses can give you great options if you're not quite sure how to study. You can talk to their support to help create the perfect study plan and get any resources you need all in the same place. If you plan on taking both the ACT and SAT, their courses also include an SAT prep course. 


  • Wide variety of courses both on-line and in-person
  • Comprehensive student support
  • Extensive library of prep materials
  • Highest ACT score improvement guarantee at +5 points


  • Premium ACT prep offerings are expensive
  • No payment plans provided on any of their ACT prep packages
  • Few Official ACT practice material is referenced
  • Practice material lacks video-based explanations

Prep Expert - Best Student Support

Prep Expert offers ACT courses in various formats, including self-paced, live classes, and online tutoring. Similar to The Princeton Review, they also provide some prep services in person - but that depends on your location.

Prep Expert's value proposition is the 100+ ACT-specific test-taking strategies they've identified as critical for a high ACT score. These strategies were developed by the founder of Prep Expert - who achieved a perfect score on the SAT - in collaboration with Maria Filsinger - another perfect scorer on the ACT. 

Many of these ACT-specific test-taking strategies are bottom-up solution tactics, which is an effective method of attempting problems on multiple choice exams like the ACT.

We liked their lessons for how well they combine the standard top-down solution tactics that students are accustomed to in high school with these bottom-up solution tactics. This way, students gain a different perspective on attempting ACT problems.

Whether you purchase their self-paced course or their popular 6-week flagship live course, you will find these key ACT test-taking strategies constantly emphasized. 

From our first-hand review of their ACT programs, Prep Expert stands out from other competitors in the area of student support. Every instructor or tutor on their platform has scored in the top 1% of the ACT, so you can be confident that your student will be coached by a high-caliber ACT teacher. 


  • Top 1% ACT instructors with information about their backgrounds
  • References only official ACT practice material
  • Free weekly office hours for every student
  • Allows you to pick your live class instructor before signing up


  • No online ACT practice questions or practice tests
  • No access to on-demand ACT support outside of office hours and live class sessions
  • No free-trials on any of their ACT prep packages
  • Video lessons are not suggested based on a student's performance on the platform

Magoosh - Best Budget Self-Paced Course

If you're looking for a high-quality self-paced course, Magoosh has excellent options. Their Premium self-paced course offers 1300+ questions, four practice tests, 175 video lessons, and curated study schedules. 

Magoosh ACT Math video lesson

Magoosh ACT Course Math video lesson

In addition to these elements, Magoosh offers some unique features. For example, they offer a 4+ point score improvement guarantee, with a full refund if your student's progress does not meet the guarantee. 

Their course also includes progress tracking features and online help from expert ACT tutors. Unfortunately, they do not offer private tutoring, but they have an academic support team to help with your questions. This support is unique among self-paced courses and can be a great resource. 

Magoosh also offers a choice to take their self-paced course with live classes. Their teachers are highly qualified, and all scored 99th percentile on their ACT. The class with live instruction is pricier, but it offers both scheduled courses and lessons on-demand. 


  • Affordable pricing with a bold score increase guarantee and payment plans
  • Detailed video & text based answer explanations
  • Online support from tutors via email
  • Very comprehensive library of video lessons covering general concepts tested on the ACT


  • Does not reference any official ACT practice questions or full-length practice test
  • No one-on-one ACT tutoring option
  • Few full-length online practice tests
  • Video lessons on self-paced course do not focus on ACT specific test-taking strategies enough

Kaplan - Best ACT Practice Material

After the Princeton Review, Kaplan is the other best-known test prep company. They have trusted courses for pretty much every admissions exam there is. Kaplan also partners with the ACT, which means they have access to the top materials that best simulate the actual test questions. Using good practice questions is essential when taking the ACT, as test wording is often challenging. 

Kaplan does not have the same range of courses as the Princeton Review. Still, they offer live online classes, a self-paced course, and online tutoring with a self-paced course. Their options are much more budget-friendly than those from the Princeton Review while still being very reliable and extensive. 

Kaplan is well-known for its practice tests and ACT and SAT prep books. When studying for the ACT, doing practice tests can be one of the best ways to practice for the feeling of the actual test. Taking a practice test is also a great way to address challenges such as time management. 

Kaplan offers several practice exams, including exams from the makers of the ACT themselves. They also have a question bank of over 2000+ official ACT questions for practice in smaller increments. Their self-paced course even comes with a print ACT prep book.

The one downside is that Kaplan's online materials are not as user-friendly as some other courses. In addition, their self-paced course is not as up-to-date as others, making it slightly more challenging to use. If you're concerned about this, it may be a good idea to try their sample materials. 

Kaplan also offers free online events, including a sample class, parent workshops, and events hosted in partnership with the ACT. These offerings can help you gauge the quality of their courses and get some inside tips on preparing for the test. 


  • Affordable pricing of self-paced course
  • Detailed video-based answer explanations are present in their practice material
  • Delivers Official ACT practice questions & tests online thanks to their partnership with ACT, Inc
  • Very well-produced video lessons covering general concepts on the ACT


  • No on-demand support is provided
  • Lacks information about the background of their live class instructors and tutors
  • No bold ACT score increase guarantee promise is provided, compared to their competitors 
  • Video lessons on self-paced course lack in-depth ACT-specific test-taking strategies

Other Good ACT Online Prep Courses

ACT Official Prep - Best Free Material

If you are looking for an official ACT prep course, this is it. The ACT has partnered with Kaplan for their self-paced course and official tutoring. We cover those materials in our review of Kaplan's courses. The ACT also offers several free and low-cost practice materials. 

The ACT offers a free official Test Prep Guide for each school year. The official Test Prep Guide has everything you need to know about test dates, fee waivers, and test prep. It is a great place to start if you are overwhelmed by the whole process. 

They also offer a great range of ACT prep books, including their official ACT Prep Guide, complete with six practice tests and 400 online flashcards. The guide also comes with online practice resources, review explanations for every answer choice, and test-taking tips, all for $15.99. The ACT also offers prep guides for each subject separately. 

In addition to their books, the ACT website has a library of free resources. They offer sample classes, online practice, online events, and an online practice test. These materials can help you make your test prep decisions and supplement your student's studying.

All of these free resources can be extremely helpful. Still, it takes a lot of self-discipline to create your study plan and keep up with it. In addition, you will have to help your student figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Although this is doable, many people would rather pay for a self-paced or instructor-led course. 


  • Free option
  • Wide range of materials
  • Official questions to simulate the test
  • Help on all aspects of test-taking


  • The site is not as user-friendly as some others
  • Limited offerings
  • Free materials do not come with structured courses
  • No score guarantee


UWorld's ACT prep course offers more budget-friendly, structured prep. UWorld's self-paced course uses the method of active learning. Students practice with questions from UWorld's bank of 2100+ questions. They then review any errors with step-by-step guidance and pinpoint areas of weakness through UWorld's performance-tracking feature. 

UWorld's program is entirely digital and accessible on any device. As a result, it is perfect for students with tight schedules, as they can practice in any small moments of downtime. 

One of the pros of UWorld's course is its flexible pricing. Their courses start at $29, which gives you access for 30 days. Their highest price is $99 for 360 days. This option includes three self-assessments with a score predictor. 

They also offer renewals if you need their service for more time than expected. They even offer a free 7-day trial, so you can try out the program and see if it works for you. 

Although UWorld's program is more structured than just taking practice tests on your own, it will still need a great deal of self-discipline and motivation. In addition, their library of resources is not as complete as some others, so you may need to go off the site if you need other prep materials. 

What are the types of ACT Prep Courses?

Different ACT prep course options can accommodate different budgets, schedules, and unique needs. The three main types of courses are group classes, private tutoring, and self-paced practice.

Group ACT Courses

The structure of a group course is like any other type of class: one teacher, a group of students, and a set curriculum.  This could be done online or in person. 

A group course can be a great option if you are looking for a class that will cover all the basics. It will also provide structure and accountability for your student's studies, even on a tighter budget. 

Individual ACT Tutoring

A group ACT course will not have the same benefit for every student. The ACT covers topics that most US students learn in high school, so the content is often not the most challenging part of the test.

What is more challenging is the ability to master effective test-taking strategies for a fast-paced exam like the ACT.  And for some students who struggle in this area, a group ACT prep course may not always be the best option.

Private tutoring - whether done online or in-person - is often helpful for those who need more personalized support. One-on-one tutors can work with students to create a study plan tailored to their needs. They can also adapt as your student learns and give dedicated one-on-one support. 

Self-Taught or Self-Paced

The final option for ACT prep is to use a test prep book or a self-paced online class. Self-paced prep may be a good option if you're on a budget and your student is very self-motivated. However, consistency and accountability can be difficult with a self-paced course, so make sure to keep this in mind if you choose this option. 

For more helpful money-saving tips when buying an ACT prep course or class, watch our helpful ACT test prep buying guide video below.

Final Thoughts

Once you break it down, the process of choosing the best ACT prep course does not have to be so overwhelming. However, if you are still having trouble picking a class, consider your student's target score needs and your resources. And remember, many of these courses offer free trial periods, so you can always try out multiple ones to see which works best for you.

Happy ACT prepping!

Chuky Ofoegbu

With almost a decade of experience pursuing higher education in the United States, I fully understand the pain points foreign students endure. I created this website to help foreign students successfully navigate their way through the challenges they will face while living in the United States.

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