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Choosing the Best ACT/SAT Test Prep Course
While most of the best ACT/SAT test prep companies provide comprehensive service options, some are more accomplished in important categories than others. These lists help students easily identify the top-performing companies for tutoring and practice test questions.
The 3 Best ACT/SAT Practice Test Providers
Practice tests are a key component of any comprehensive ACT or SAT prep course. Periodically taking full-length tests throughout the duration of a prep course helps students put the concepts and strategies they learn in class into real practice under test-day conditions. This helps students better cope with the pressure produced by a lengthy, timed test like the ACT or SAT. Taking practice tests is also a great way to identify weaknesses, enabling students to seek out targeted help before test day arrives. All of these factors are why most major test prep companies require students to complete at least three practice tests as part of a standard prep course. Although practice tests are common, some companies offer more opportunities in this area than others.
The 4 Best ACT/SAT Tutoring Services
Students looking for one-on-one ACT/SAT tutoring alongside a prep course have a lot of solid options to choose from. All the best companies in this category employ ACT and SAT test prep specialists who have extensive teacher training as well as experience tutoring students with a wide variety of needs. Additionally, all the top companies offer both online and in-person tutoring options in cities across the country.
What ACT/SAT Test Prep Course Features Matter and Why?
ACT/SAT Course Delivery focuses on the different class formats ACT/SAT test prep companies use to deliver course content and distribute course materials to students. This category includes traditional classroom courses built around in-person communication; live online courses that rely on intermediary technologies like streaming audio-video to connect instructors and students; and pre-recorded, self-paced online courses. ACT/SAT Course Delivery is a critical category for most students, especially those who require a specific type of class format due to geographical location or learning preference.
- ACT - Live Online - Students can take ACT test preparation courses through live streaming video online.
- ACT - On-Site - Students can take ACT test preparation courses at on-site locations.
- ACT - Streaming Video - ACT test preparation courses are available through online videos.
- SAT - Live Online - Students can take SAT test preparation courses through live streaming video online.
- SAT - On-Site - Students can take SAT test preparation courses at on-site locations.
- SAT - Streaming Video - SAT test preparation courses are available through online videos.
ACT/SAT Practice includes all the materials ACT/SAT prep courses provide students to help them prepare for the challenges of test day. Full-length practice tests make up the most important component of this category, as they enable students to experience the actual pressure and stress that comes with a lengthy, timed test like the ACT or SAT. Quiz banks, another significant factor, help students master the different question types so they can respond quickly and confidently through the various sections of a test. ACT/SAT Practice is of crucial importance to most every student since it is an essential part of fully preparing oneself for the rigors of test day. ACT/SAT Practice also helps students to better understand their own strengths and weaknesses prior to test day, enabling more efficient use of study and practice time.
- Free Online Practice Test - The company provides access to a free online practice test.
- Free Proctored Practice Test - The company provides access to a free proctored test at an on-site location.
- Full-Length Practice ACT Tests - The company provides access to full-length practice ACT tests.
- Full-Length Practice SAT Tests - The company provides access to full-length practice SAT tests.
- Practice Question Bank - Students have access to a test bank of practice questions.
- Practice Test Reports - Students receive feedback after completing practice tests to identify areas of improvement.
Student Support refers to the methods ACT/SAT prep companies use to individually provide students the help they need to succeed in their test preparation and improve their test scores. Offering students the ability to contact instructors and tutors by email or telephone outside of class is a common Student Support method used to provide direct academic help. Indirect support methods include performance guarantees, such as a promise entitling students to retake a course for free if they are unable to improve their test score after the first attempt. Although some students make it through a full course without utilizing any Student Support methods, having the ability to do so in a time of need is very important.
- Email - Students can reach the instructor or tutor via email for assistance.
- Free Study Guarantee - The company allows students to study with them for free if a higher ACT/SAT test score is not achieved.
- Live Chat - Students can reach the instructor or tutor via live chat for assistance.
- Money-Back Guarantee - The company offers a money-back guarantee if students do not receive a higher ACT/SAT test score.
- Phone - Students can contact the instructor or tutor by phone.
ACT/SAT Custom Instruction covers the personalized learning programs ACT/SAT prep companies offer to students who want special training to target their individual needs. While many students receive adequate training in standard group courses, other students benefit greatly from one-on-one tutoring. ACT/SAT tutoring is the most important component of this category, and includes both on-site and online options. Online ACT/SAT tutoring is especially important to students who live in areas that aren't served by on-site tutoring services. Also included in this category are refresher courses, which are designed for students who have already completed a standard prep course.
- Custom Study Strategy - The company provides a custom study strategy or study schedule.
- Online Tutoring - Students can receive ACT/SAT tutoring online via webcam.
- On-Site Tutoring - Students can receive ACT/SAT tutoring at an on-site location.
- Subject Refresher - Instruction is available that focuses on a specific portion of the ACT/SAT.
ACT/SAT Learning Materials includes the different types of exercises and study tools ACT/SAT prep courses provide students to assist them in mastering test concepts, strategies, and vocabulary. ACT/SAT Learning Materials incorporates everything from workbooks to flash cards and online quizzing tools to interactive games. This category is fairly important to students who are looking for a comprehensive prep course that provides everything they need to prepare for an ACT/SAT test in one package. ACT/SAT Learning Materials is less important to students who don't mind searching for and buying exercise books and learning tools from third-party sources.
- Blog - The company has a blog that discusses content relevant to the ACT/SAT.
- Books - The company provides books/workbooks to help students prepare for the ACT/SAT.
- FAQs - The company provides a list of answers to ACT/SAT-related frequently asked questions.
- Flash Cards - The company provides flash cards featuring ACT/SAT material.
- Interactive Games - The company provides online interactive games to help students learn the material.
Admissions Prep focuses on the supplementary educational services many ACT/SAT test prep companies offer alongside standard ACT/SAT courses. These services are designed to prepare students for the college admissions process. The Admissions Prep category covers one-on-one consulting sessions, seminars, and group courses. Many students are able to learn a lot from these services but, overall, this category is not nearly as important as the categories that directly focus on test preparation.
- Admissions Seminars - The company holds events or seminars discussing the admissions process and strengthening the student's candidacy.
- Application Assistance - The company provides guidance and input to help improve the student's application.