ACT Practice Test:  Several Options

Taking an ACT practice test is a great first first step for getting a diagnostic score on the ACT. The options below are also good resources for students trying to find more good practice tests for the ACT.

Many students have taken the PSAT, but less have a good, diagnostic ACT. Others have taken a real ACT and need more high-quality practice tests to study for the next ACT. Below I list several options for finding more ACT practice tests. If you need a general ACT review, please read my recommendations for Best ACT Prep books.

ACT Practice Test: Best Options

Option #1: Purchase a Copy of "The Official ACT Prep Guide"

As I have discussed elsewhere, if you are planning to take the ACT, then I strongly advise students to purchase the Official ACT Prep Guide, which contains three "official" ACT exams published by the makers of the ACT. In my tutoring business, this is the primary text for students, in other words, a must-have. 

Option #2: Ask Counselor for a Practice Test

Most high schools order the 2016-2017 Preparing for the ACT bulletin which is published by the ACT testing organization.  If your high school does not have copies of the bulletin, ask the high school counselor to order the bulletins. The ACT organization will send the high school free copies of the bulletin.

If you are under a time crunch, you can download a free ACT practice test from the recent bulletin, but it is 80-pages! So not ideal, but best option if you do not have much time. Otherwise, if you have the time, wait until your counselor has a copy or purchase the The Official Guide to the ACT, which contains three, copy-righted tests.

Option #3: Find a Copy of The Real ACT Guide 

If you can find a copy of The Real ACT Guide (Third Edition), then you will have five additional, copy-righted ACT practice tests. The book, however, is getting more difficult to find now that it is out-of-print. If you find one, try to get one in "New" or "Good" condition, so that there is not too much writing already in the book.

Option #4: Take a Practice Test offered by a
Test Prep Company

A number of test prep companies offer FREE practice ACT tests as part of a larger sales pitch for their services. Make sure that the test does not come with an obligation to purchase a test prep package or sign up for tutoring.

Another reason I am not a huge fan of this option is that sometimes these tests are NOT "official" ACT tests. Unfortunately, some companies create ACT practice tests that are very difficult so test scores are low and parents and teens feel compelled to sign up for test prep. If you decide on this option, ask the person giving the test" ""Is this an official test that you ordered directly from the ACT administration?" If they say "No" or decline to answer, know that it may not be an official test and the score may not be super-reliable.

Option #5: Find Official Tests On the Internet

Several test prep companies offer copy-righted versions of the ACT on their websites. Most of these tests are either versions found in The Official ACT Study Guide, The Real ACT Guide (Third Edition) or previous ACT bulletins. Even when a website claims the tests are recent, I have not found this to be the case very often. With my students, I usually start with the earlier suggestions and use these tests as a back-up plan. Remember: you will need to print these and many of these tests and answer explanations can be 55-80+ pages, so keep that in mind. 

Did You Know This?

Did you know that not all colleges require students to submit SAT or ACT scores to be admitted to college? If you are a strong student, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you may be surprised to learn that many colleges, and really good colleges, have become "test-optional". Too many parents and students dismiss "test-optional" as a possible route to college admission. But before you do that, find out more about this growing, "student-friendly" trend in college admission.

News & Updates

Several times each week, I post articles and test taking tips about the SAT and ACT tests as well as college admissions. These blog entries are a great way to keep current with what is happening in high school test prep and college admissions. So please bookmark this page (or subscribe to my RSS feed) and let your friends and family know about!