First Look at the "REVISED AND UPDATED" Official ACT Prep Guide!

Official ACT Prep Guide Rated 2 Stars

SPOILER ALERT: It's Neither Revised nor Updated

This book is very nearly identical to the previous edition of the Official ACT Prep Guide 2016-2017. 

Missed Opportunity

This book contains three full-length practice tests, the VERY SAME TESTS as the previous edition. That's profoundly disappointing, given that publication represented an opportunity for ACT to avoid falling even further behind College Board in the test prep arms race.

All of this means that the "updated" Official ACT Prep Guide will not provide any relief to ACT tutors who had hoped it would include five or more full-length ACT tests. To put it another way, this book is not remotely adequate to serve as the primary curriculum for an ACT prep course. That's not to say it's purposeless.

The Purpose of ACT's Official Prep Guide

The book serves a very narrow purpose: it provides three full-length practice tests. That said, it suffers from the same flaws that mar every other publication from ACT & College Board.

Namely, there is nothing of value inside the book besides the official tests. Literally nothing. In the early days of Clear Choice Test Prep, we actually shredded the first half of the College Board's Official Study Guide for the SAT and used it as packing material. True story. 

Pricing this book below $20.00 is a good start. However, given that the book cannot serve as the primary curriculum for a test prep course, the price break is not much help for most tutors. 

This fake "update" represents another in a series of moves by ACT that have estranged thousands of test prep tutors. Allowing this to happen is catastrophically foolish on ACT's part, for these test prep tutors act as a volunteer salesforce for ACT and College Board. Test prep tutors essentially function as an unpaid evangelizing force that recruits students to take one test or the other. 

At the moment, College Board has made eight full-length practice tests available to tutors and students for free at www.sat.org. ACT, on the other hand, has only made one test available on its website. 

Nothing to see here

Reading this BLOATED workbook (703 mostly useless pages), students will find that ACT has failed to provide enough practice materials to meet the needs of highly motivated, top-performing students. Consequently, many tutors will steer their highly motivated students to prep for the SAT because of the comparatively ample test prep resources from College Board.

Make no mistake; College Board has also failed to provide enough test prep materials for students who are serious about improving their test prep scores. This is something I know a bit about.


What could have been

As Co-Founder of Clear Choice Test Prep, I've personally authored more than 2500 pages of 100% white-label test prep workbooks. Our resources are now used by hundreds of independent tutors and test prep companies across the U.S. and around the world. Our workbooks contain substantially more test prep materials than the Official ACT Prep Guide.

Furthermore, our custom branded workbooks include resources that make the information more actionable for test prep: macro-strategies for each test section, pacing guides, concept-centric lessons, 850+ practice problems, and hundreds more skill-builder exercises. Furthermore, every problem in our workbook has its own online video solution. That's more than 100 hours of video solutions.

Get Curriculum Samples

I mention all of this not to promote our test prep workbooks -- we DO NOT sell our custom-branded test prep system directly to students on Amazon or anywhere else -- but simply to point out why I'm so disappointed by this latest half-measure from the folks at ACT.

Quite simply, ACT has had more than enough time, money, and brains to create something far better than this book. Why they haven't yet made this a priority is genuinely confounding. 

Check Out the Software

P.S.  We don't need to tell you how important it is to use REAL TESTS to measure the effectiveness of your SAT & ACT test prep tutoring. But just in case you're considering swapping out best practices for a fake exam, be sure to check out this post

At Clear Choice Test Prep, we make custom branded test prep tools for tutors. We've built everything you need to improve results, increase revenue, and grow your tutoring business. Schedule a demo to find out more!

Matt McCorkle