ACT Prep Courses

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: December 21, 2021  •  7 min read  •  College
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Getting into a top college requires excellent ACT scores. One of the best ways to ensure you score as high as possible is choosing one of the top ACT prep courses. With the right prep course, you can gain the knowledge to score very high on the ACT.

When you’re trying to choose the right ACT prep course, you’ll have plenty of options. Let’s look at a few tips to help you choose the right course, along with some of the top ACT prep courses to choose from.

ACT Test Prep Courses

How to Choose an ACT Prep Course

One of the keys to choosing the right ACT prep course is understanding the student. If you’re a parent choosing for your child, you need to understand their study habits and how they learn best. This can help guide you to the right program.

For example, some students need one-on-one tutoring, while others are better off working at their own pace. There are plenty of ACT prep courses offering tutoring and other types of study plans. Matching your student to the right program means you need to understand how they learn.

The student’s college goals will also play a factor. For example, if your student is trying to get into an elite university, certain ACT prep courses may not be the right choice. However, if they are trying to get into a college, you might be able to use a bit more of a basic prep course.

It’s also important to consider how much time you have to prepare. If you’re starting early enough in the process, a more comprehensive ACT prep course might be a good idea. However, if you only have a month or a few weeks to prepare, choosing a prep course that allows you to cramp a bit is better.

Top 5 ACT Prep Courses

1. Prep Expert

One of the best online ACT prep courses, Prep Expert, offers several options. They provide tailored options for those with tight schedules, along with a weekend review course. If you need to prep quickly, or you have plenty of time, Prep Experts have an ACT prep course for you.

Prep Experts’ six-week flagship ACT prep course has a 4-point ACT score improvement guarantee. In addition, if you choose the self-paced video course, it also comes with an ACT score improvement guarantee.

Courses from Prep Experts range from $299 to $799, depending on your choice. They also offer college admission consulting and many other prep courses for high school students.

2. PrepScholar

Another great choice for your ACT prep course comes from PrepScholar. This program is known as one of the top options for those with learning disabilities. PrepScholar offers many different options with five pricing tiers to choose from.

You can choose an online ACT prep course or a live class. They also offer an all-in-one package for those needing both ACT and SAT prep. You can start with a free consultation to determine if their program works for you.

Pricing for PrepScholar starts at $397 and goes up from there. However, they do offer a five-day risk-free trial, as well.

3. Sylvan Learning

The Sylvan Learning ACT pre-course offers in-person and online choices. It’s rather comprehensive and well-reviewed online. So whether you prefer an online option or you prefer an in-person option, you can find it from Sylvan Learning.

Choosing one of the ACT prep courses from Sylvan Learning will give you access to an ACT tutor. This tutor will use diagnostic testing to determine what is best for you. Then, they will create a study plan customized to your needs.

Sylvan Learning is known for skill-building. They don’t use teaching to the test type of approach. Instead, they look at ACT-specific skills and what the student needs.

With the ACT prep courses from Sylvan Learning, you will gain access to an online learning plan. This plan will include quizzes and practice materials. In addition, you will also gain access to resources, including drills, practice tests, video lessons, tutorials, and more.

The course will run about eight weeks, and the cost will run from about $40 to $50 per hour, depending on the program you choose.

4. Magoosh

Those seeking an ACT prep course with a subscription-based pricing model will like Magoosh. They offer a 12-month subscription with prices starting at $129 per month. This is a great ACT prep course for those with plenty of time to prepare for the test.

Magoosh offers programs for busy students, too. You can choose to study for as little as 20 minutes per day. They also offer very flexible options to fit just about any schedule.

Both online and live options are available. They do not have in-person classes or options for learning disabilities, but they do offer live video options, tutoring, and a money-back guarantee.

When you choose Magoosh, you get top-quality materials with more than 250 lessons, over 1,300 ACT questions, and full-length practice tests.

5. The Princeton Review

Another top ACT prep course comes from The Princeton Review. They have more than 35 years of experience helping students prepare for the ACT exam. With one-on-one tutoring, in-person classes, and multiple online formats, you can choose the right plan for your needs.

The Princeton Review has a 31+ guaranteed program offering the maximum results. You can use this program in just two months to prepare for the ACTs.

The Princeton Review has ACT prep courses starting at $299 and going up to $1,549. They also offer ACT 34+ tutoring for $233 per hour.

Frequently Asked Questions About ACT Prep Courses

How early should I start my prep?

It’s best to start prepping for the ACT exam as soon as possible. The more time you have, the better when it comes to ACT prep. When you’re a sophomore, you can take the preACT test to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re retesting, you want to make sure you have at least 20 total hours for preparing.

How long will most ACT prep courses last?

You can find ACT prep courses that you can complete in just a few hours. Other programs will last several weeks. The more extensive courses tend to provide better results for students.

How many ACT practice tests should I take?

Before you take the actual exam, it’s recommended that you take at least three ACT practice exams. Not only will this help you determine where you’re at, but it will also help you become comfortable with the test.

Do I need an ACT prep course?

Getting a good prep course is vital to score higher on the ACT exam. Even just one or two points on the ACT can make a big difference in acceptance into specific colleges. It can also make a difference with merit-based scholarships.

A study from ACT.org showed that even just a short self-paced study program could help raise your score by 1.5 points. More in-depth prep courses can help you raise your score by more than 5 points.

What will I need to spend on an ACT prep course?

ACT prep courses range in price from $99 to $2,575. Some programs allow you to pay monthly or per hour. Others will expect upfront payment. You can also pay one price with some providers for the ACT/SAT prep course all-in-one package.


Before taking the ACT exam or retaking it, a good prep course is a good idea. With the right ACT prep course, you can score higher and gain the main benefits of a higher score.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!