If you enjoy the fun and functionality of mobile apps, you’ll want to add at least one to your ACT-prep tool kit.
But be aware, no one can boost their scores significantly using only apps. Think of them as the chips-and-guac of your test-prep banquet–delicious, but not substantial enough to meet all of your daily nutritional needs.
- They contain a (very) limited number of practice questions. Those they do have, may not match the questions on the real ACT.
- Most aren’t responsive, so they don’t adapt their suggestions to match your skill level.
- They teach academic concepts (such as geometry or subject-verb agreement), but not essential test-taking strategies (like managing time or using the process of elimination).
That said, a good app can still be a supportive and engaging complement to your main prep program. Here are four of the best.
ACT Online Prep by ACT Inc.
This is the official app offered by the company that creates the ACT. It’s available only to students who are registered with the ACT Online Prep program.
Unlike many test-prep apps, this one adapts to your performance. As you build your skills, the software continually guides you toward the topics and question-types that you most need to work on. It also offers:
- Authentic ACT practice questions
- Clear feedback on what you’ve achieved and where you need to go next
- Two genuine practice tests
- A predicted score range (that is, an estimation of what your scores would be if you took the ACT today), which is continually updated
- Games and flashcards for concept review
Magoosh ACT Prep Coach by Magoosh
Magoosh’s ACT app offers a combination of video lessons and helpful information on a wide range of important topics.
- Video instruction on all five sections of the ACT
- A few practice questions in each area
- Online flashcards for quick review
- A Vocabulary Builder tool
- A full-length practice test
- Lots of articles on test content and strategy:
- How to improve your ACT score by 10 points
- Managing Test Anxiety on the ACT
- ACT vs. SAT: Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Right Test
- Top 10 ways to Prepare for the ACT Exam
- Making the Most of Your ACT Study Schedule
- How your Personality Type Can Help You Win at Studying
Everything is presented in Magoosh’s clear and engaging trademark style.
ACT McGraw Hill by McGraw Hill
This app is created and maintained by the educational publisher McGraw Hill. It includes a lot more material than most, including more than 1,000 practice questions and ten complete practice ACTs. All of the content is written by McGraw Hill. The app costs $19.99, which is more than many, but not really that much in the grand scheme of things. If you’re looking for a mobile app that’s a bit more substantial, ACT McGraw Hill may be a good investment.
- 1000+ practice questions across all sections of the ACT
- 10 full-length tests
- Help crafting an ACT study plan
- Clear feedback on your progress (including info on how your scores measure up to those of other students)
- Tips for test day
ACT Question of the Day by ACT Inc.
This is an app-like resource, available for free to everyone who’s registered to take the ACT. Visit the ACT site daily for a Question of the Day, drawn from a database of over 1,000 authentic practice problems covering all four multiple choice sections of the test. You’ll get an explanation of the correct answer along with guidance on applying the concept to future questions. If you’re ready for a little more practice, the software will offer a random selection of problems drawn from the past 30 days. If you prefer, you can sign up to receive seven questions together in one weekly email.