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UWorld ACT Prep Course Review 

 July 9, 2022

By  Chuky Ofoegbu

students studying in a library

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Students today are put under a lot of pressure to perform well on standardized testing, especially when they’re applying to college. The ACT and the SAT are two of the biggest tests for those looking to get into the top colleges and universities, and many schools have minimum score requirements to even be considered for admission.

This not only puts extra stress on the students but also on their parents or caregivers trying to navigate the college application process. That's why our team is here to make your life a little easier during these stressful times. 

Based on our review of the Best ACT Prep Courses for 2022, we decided to dive deeper into our top picks for ACT prep courses. Our team has tested out each of these courses to see what works and what doesn’t. In our reviews, we cover everything from the quality of questions and lessons to the level of support provided. 

This review focuses on the UWorld ACT prep course - a course with a test prep approach that is quite different from other competing ACT prep course providers.

Summary:

UWorld is a lesser-known test prep company that provides comprehensive question banks and practice tests for the ACT. The platform does not include lessons, but rather tons of practice for test-like questions.

Key  Features:

  • Downloadable ACT Tests
  • Customizable Study Schedule
  • Mobile App
  • Create Flashcards
  • User Forums For Questions

overall 

2.8/5

User Experience

Support

Practice Questions

Score Guarantee

Is the UWorld ACT Prep Course Right for Your Child/Student? 

Who we recommend the course for:

  • Students on a budget: The UWorld platform is extremely affordable. There are four plan options (30,  90, 180, and 360-days), all under $150.
  • Students looking for a mobile-friendly study option: UWorld’s ACT mobile app allows students to answer quizzes as short as 5 questions anytime, for all subjects on the ACT.

Who we don't recommend the course for:

  • Students that want guided lessons: UWorld does not provide video or even text-based lessons. The core platform is just based on practice tests and questions.
  • Those who don’t want to read text explanations: The only answer explanation offered in UWorld is text-based. While these explanations are thorough, for students that want to watch or listen to what they did wrong, UWorld is not the right fit.

UWorld ACT Prep Review 

The UWorld ACT prep subscription focuses mainly on practice questions and drills. There are no video-based lessons to watch and there is no textbook to read, but students who sign up are immediately prompted to take practice tests and create custom quizzes to study on their schedule. 

There are four-course offerings - 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, and 360 days. Below we’ll briefly cover the similarities and differences between the options before going into more detail.

UWorld ACT prep course similarities

Let’s take a look at what the four UWorld ACT courses have in common:

  • 2100+ Practice Questions: All plans include the 2100+ question bank that can be used to create custom quizzes in tutor mode or quiz mode
  • Performance Tracking: Students have the ability to see where they’re starting in terms of their ACT prep and how they are progressing toward their goals based on the number of questions they answer correctly for given topics.
  • Mobile App: All plans include access to the UWorld mobile app. This contains the full question banks so that students can complete short quizzes on the go.
  • Access to UWorld Forum: As long as you have an account for UWorld with an active subscription, you can create discussion threads in the forum to ask questions about the platform, the ACT in general, and test-taking.

UWorld ACT prep course distinctions

  • Access Period: There are four options for access periods - 30, 90, 180, and 360 days. You can choose the right plan for you based on your timeline for taking the ACT.
  • Pricing: Of course, as the length of the access period increases, the price increases. However, because the UWorld platform is so affordable, even the most expensive plan is cheaper than most of the competitors.
  • Number of self-assessments: The 30-day plan doesn’t include a self-assessment with a score predictor, whereas the 90-day plan includes one self-assessment, the 180-day plan includes two and the 360-day plan includes three.

User Experience

UWorld’s online platform isn’t difficult to navigate. The setup is simple - when you log into your account you will be presented with your subscription options. For example, we tested the 90-day plan with a self-assessment, which is shown below.

Uworld ACT Prep Course Subscriptions Page

UWorld ACT Prep Course Subscriptions Page

Students can choose to either launch the ACT QBank, which is the environment for practicing, or the ACT Self-Assessments available with their subscription. The self-assessment brings you to the dashboard specific to the test.

Uworld ACT Prep Course Assessment Section]

UWorld ACT Prep Course Assessment Section

Simply click on the section you want to start and complete it like a real ACT. In addition, after you complete the test, it’s easy to review all your answers and see your performance, which we’ll go into later.

Review of UWorld Practice Questions & Tests 

QBank Practice Questions 

There are over 2100 practice questions available in the UWorld Qbank. When creating a practice quiz, students can select the test mode and the question mode. For the test mode, there are four options:

  • Timed: Add a time limit to your test
  • Untimed: Take the test at your own pace, but keep track of your overall time
  • Tutor: See answer explanations after each question with no time limit
  • Timed Tutor: See answer explanations after each question and a time limit is imposed

In addition, students can choose the question mode for their quiz. There are five options:

  • Unused: Only create a quiz using questions that you haven’t seen before
  • Incorrect: Create a quiz with questions you answered incorrectly previously
  • Marked: Create a quiz based on questions you specifically marked during previous practice
  • All: No stipulations for the question type
  • Custom: Generate a custom test and share it with your study group 
Uworld ACT qbank

UWorld ACT qbank

We completed a few of the quizzes on UWorld to test out the process, difficulty level, and user experience. Based on our practice, we found that the quality of questions varied based on the test section. For instance, when it came to the math and science sections, the questions were on point with the real ACT, but when taking the reading and English tests, questions were more difficult than those you would normally see on test day.

One nice thing about using the UWorld Qbank is that there is a tutorial option that guides students through the process of setting up a quiz. This is nice for students that want to get the most value from the platform.

Uworld ACT prep practice test mode

UWorld ACT prep practice test mode

Full-length practice test experience 

There are two options for full-length practice tests. First, depending on your subscription, you can access the online self-assessment with a score predictor. This allows students to start each section of the test, complete it, and review before moving on. Students can also review the entire test and read the answer explanations.

Uworld ACT Prep Course Practice Test Score Report

Uworld ACT Prep Course Practice Test Score Report

Another option is to download the pdf practice tests which are listed in the study schedule. UWorld recommends taking a certain number of the pdf tests depending on your subscription. These tests are official ACTs that are available for free online, but it is nice to have them all available in one place and scheduled in the course.

Uworld ACT Prep Course Study Plan

UWorld ACT Prep Course Study Plan

Quality of answer explanations

The answer explanations are all text-based. Even though this might not seem as good as competitors who offer video explanations, UWorld’s text descriptions are extremely thorough. For the math questions, the explanations outline each step of the process, leaving no room for confusion.

For the reading, English, and science sections, the answer explanations outline the core concepts tested and their application to the specific question. We liked that you could also click on highlighted words in the explanations to learn more. For instance, in one of the English sections, we clicked on “prepositional phrases” and were taken to a pop-up screen that explained the term and provided an example. This is known as the ‘Exhibit Display’.

Support 

When you sign up for a UWorld ACT prep course, you can log in to the community forum. In the forum, you can create discussion threads to ask questions and converse with other students and parents in similar situations. 

However, something we noticed is that the forum hasn’t been updated recently. The most recent post that we could find was from 2019, which makes us wonder if this platform is really as widely used as it claims.

In addition, there is a help section where you can submit a request to support. However, the desktop version did not work for us due to a glitch on the page. We submitted a request through the app and it went through fine. The expected time for a response is 24 hours and we received an email the same day. The email was thorough. We had asked about why the forum hasn’t been updated and UWorld responded by saying that they review all forum questions before posting to ensure they are credible, which makes sense. When we looked at the SAT forum, there were recent forums that had been approved.

UWorld ACT Pricing

UWorld offers four options for their ACT prep platform. The 30-day access is normally $49, 90 days is normally $69, six months is $99, and one year is $129.

Since these prices are already quite low compared to competitors, UWorld doesn’t seem to offer many promotional discounts for the ACT prep course.

In addition to the purchase price for a new subscription, you also have the option to renew or extend your subscription for an extra cost. 

Unfortunately, this does not mean you’ll gain access to additional resources. The Qbank remains the same and you are merely paying to extend your time.

Uworld ACT Prep Course Renewal

UWorld ACT Prep Course Renewal

The renewal prices are a bit high when taking this into account, with a 30-day extension for $25, a 90-day extension for $40, 180-days for $60, and an extra year for $80.

Other Features and Resources

UWorld offers a mobile app for ACT prep. This includes the self-assessment and the question bank sections of the platform. The user interface is intuitive and the quizzes are great if you’re just looking to practice for 5-10 minutes on the go.

UWorld also allows students to build flashcards for studying. However, unlike competitors, UWorld doesn’t provide a template for the cards or any standard deck to begin with. Rather, students create the flashcards from scratch, which might deter students from using this feature.

Another feature that we liked about UWorld’s online ACT platform is the ability to create a digital notebook. If a student adjusts their test interfact setting, they can simply click on the content and add it to their notebook, which is easily searchable so that students can review the concepts they had trouble with. 

Uworld ACT My Notebook Section

UWorld ACT My Notebook Section

Trial, Score Improvement, and Money Back Policies

Availability of free trial 

UWorld ACT offers a 7-day free trial, which does not require a credit card. The free trial includes access to a limited number of practice questions. The trial does not include any of the online self-assessments, but you can download the 5 official ACT pdf tests.

Score increase guarantee 

UWorld does not offer a score increase guarantee. This is definitely a drawback for students and parents looking for some sense of security that their money is being put to good use.

Money back policy 

According to UWorld’s FAQ section, refunds are assessed on a case by case basis. Their policy specifically states that “refunds are considered for subscriptions of more than 30 days.” However, the refund amount is based on the number of days since the start of the subscription and the number of questions used before requesting a refund.

In this sense, you’re really only getting money back for the part of the course your child didn’t already use, so it’s better to request a refund sooner rather than later if you purchase a qualifying subscription and find that it isn’t the right fit.

Which UWorld ACT Course Should You Get 

After reviewing all the features, we recommend the 1-year access. We’re basing this recommendation on the fact that you will access all of the questions and the three self-assessments. We found that the self-assessments were the most useful aspect of the course, so even if you aren’t studying for a full year, it is better to pay for that option just to get all of the assessments.

How Does UWorld ACT Prep Course Compare to Other Courses? 

Of course there are tons of ACT prep courses out there that seem just as good as UWorld, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is best for your child. Below we do a quick comparison of UWorld’s ACT prep to its competitors:

UWorld ACT Prep vs. Kaplan ACT Prep

  • UWorld has 5 official ACT practice tests and up to three full-length self assessments. Kaplan has 5 official ACT practice tests
  • Neither UWorld nor Kaplan offers a score guarantee for their ACT prep courses
  • UWorld doesn’t include any video lessons, classes, or add-on tutoring, whereas Kaplan’s self-paced course is lesson-based
  • UWorld’s six-month subscription is $99 but Kaplan’s six-month self-paced course is normally $119
  • UWorld includes a convenient mobile app for their ACT prep program, but Kaplan doesn’t have a mobile app

For more information, check out our full Kaplan ACT prep course review.

UWorld ACT Prep vs. Magoosh ACT prep 

  • UWorld’s one year access costs $129, which is the same cost as Magoosh's one-year premium access 
  • Both UWorld and Magoosh offer an app for their ACT prep
  • UWorld does not guarantee students will increase their score after taking the course, but Magoosh has a 4+ point score increase guarantee
  • UWorld doesn’t include any video lessons or live instruction, whereas Magoosh has over 250 video lessons and their app includes about 34 hours of instruction

For more information, check out our full Magoosh ACT prep course review.

UWorld ACT Prep FAQs 

To conclude this review article, we decided to include some of the frequently asked questions about the UWorld ACT prep course:

Is UWorld good for ACT prep?

UWorld’s affordable, flexible, online ACT prep program is a viable option for students looking to consistently test their skills. While the course isn’t typical in that there are no actual lessons, the Qbank allows students to get a lot of practice in a short period of time.

Is UWorld good for ACT math?

Out of the four sections of the ACT, math was the best in terms of UWorld’s prep. The questions were very much like the real test in terms of the formatting, difficulty, and concepts covered. We would highly recommend studying with the UWorld math ACT questions.

Does UWorld have a free trial?

Yes, UWorld offers a 7-day free trial for their online ACT prep platform. The trial does not require any payment information, so there is no obligation if you sign up.

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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