One of the most important aspects of test prep is practicing. Taking an ACT practice test helps you get acquainted with the test format and the types of questions you can expect when you sit down in a formal test setting. I encourage all of my students to take as many ACT practice tests as they can as a way to improve their confidence and test taking skills. So I’ve gathered the best, official practice tests for you to use while you prepare for the ACT.

Free ACT Practice Tests

One of the easiest ways to take an ACT practice test is by finding them online. This way, you can print multiple copies and take them as many times as you need. Best of all, the ACT practice tests below are completely free!

ACT Practice Test 2016-2017

ACT Practice Test 2014-2015

ACT Practice Test 2011-2012

ACT Practice Test 2008-2009

ACT Practice Test 2005-2006

Wondering why only certain years are listed? The ACT recycles its tests in varying years so if one year’s test doesn’t appear here, it’s because it was duplicated another year. In these cases, I provided the most recent version. Taking these ACT practice tests with your other prep methods will help you be ready for your official ACT.

Pay for ACT Practice Tests

The ACT Online Prep is put on by the ACT organization itself. It gives you access to real ACT tests to practice from and personalized learning paths to help you prepare in the most effective way possible. Best of all, it’s available online so you can practice anytime, anywhere.

The Official ACT Prep Guide 2016-2017 contains three full-length ACT practice tests and explanations for each answer choice, including the incorrect responses so you can understand your mistakes. It also offers test-taking strategies and an online bonus content section that contains hundreds of practice questions in addition to the full-length tests. This is a book released by the ACT every year to help prep students for taking their standardized tests.

You can find other test prep books from companies like Kaplan, Tutor Ted, Princeton Review’s Cracking the ACT, Barron’s ACT 36 prep, McGraw-Hill’s Test Prep and collection of practice tests. If you need to focus on specific areas and not the test as a whole, you can invest in Princeton Review’s Math and Science Workout, if you feel like taking tests is challenging for you, and even a collection of practice questions.

Whatever method you choose, remember that you can always explore your local library if you want to try any one of these out before you buy them.

How to Improve Your ACT Score

So now that you have access to different practice tests and test prep books, what are your next steps? Practicing the tests and reading up on the answers is a good way to begin, but most of you will want to do more than flip through its pages. Doing more ACT practice and prep can help you earn a higher score, which can impress the college admissions boards when you’re applying. You probably already have some ideas about how to get a good ACT score, but I’m going to share with you the ways I teach my students to get their best score possible.

Take the Pre-ACT

The Pre-ACT is an official practice test administered by the ACT. You take an ACT practice test in simulated test conditions, giving you the best idea of how well you perform under enforced time constraints. Because the Pre-ACT is scored like the real ACT,  you’re able to see what sub-sections are your strongest, which ones need work, and how your composite score compares to the averages of the schools you want to apply to.

Actually Use Your Practice Tests

I know this probably seems really obvious. But consider that when your homework, studying, extra-curriculars, and need for sleep start to pile up, it’s really easy to push preparing for the ACT off to the side. Be sure to avoid this trap! Try scheduling in time during the week to devote to ACT practice and prep. Use a vision board to keep your dream colleges in focus. Make sure you do more than just print off or purchase ACT practice materials.

Work with a Tutor

Don’t let the word “tutor” throw you off. Tutoring lets you work with someone one-on-one and the right one has taken home a high or perfect ACT score. They’re able to keep you on track, make sure you’re improving, and even share their tips or tricks for getting an amazing score like theirs.  Partnering with a tutor gives you personalized attention instead of generic approaches, improving your chances of success and getting the best score you can.

You can easily access the different methods of ACT practice and preparation to help you earn the best score you can for your college applications. By working hard to prepare yourself for this standardized test, you’ll be able to increase your chances of being accepted into the college of your dreams. Whether you opt for printing off free ACT practice tests or investing in ACT prep books, I strongly encourage you to find a tutor to help you get ready. With the college admissions process getting increasingly competitive each year, I want to make sure you do everything you can to get into a good school if not the school of your dreams.

Do you have any questions about the ACT? Wondering which ACT prep method you should pursue? Confused about if you should take the ACT or the SAT? Leave a comment below and let us know. We can’t wait to connect with you!