ACT Prep Black Book Review- Best ACT Book 2018

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A consistently great ACT book that will boost your ACT score

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  • Strategies, Tips and Tricks
  • Math
  • English
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Quality and Style

For improving your ACT score by a wide margin, this is the best ACT prep book to use. The author Mike Barrett says that the ACT test, like the SAT test, is written to follow a set of rules that never change, so that all problems can be solved by cracking those rules and using consistent strategies without making errors. He says that ACT prep is less about trying to achieve a specific ACT score and more about trying to refine your execution of the ACT strategies. So instead of aiming for a 32 on a particular section, you could aim to not make a single careless mistake.

One reason this is the best ACT prep book is because Barrett focuses on general strategies, rather than drilling questions over and over or memorizing a lot of needless content. He prioritizes post-mortem analyses of the ACT prep test questions to identify weaknesses and find mistakes. He also recommends doing a “shortcut” search to find quicker and more efficient ways of answering ACT questions after becoming familiar with the material.

ACT prep- post mortem
ACT Prep post mortem

Barrett acknowledges that every student’s study patterns are different- some students can study for three hours straight, while others can only concentrate for 20 minutes. He recommends adapting your study schedule to your own strengths and weaknesses.

Another reason this is the best ACT prep book is its description of answer patterns. For example, with ACT Reading, it lists common answer choice patterns that show up on the ACT test such as “Reasonable Assumption”, “Confused Concept”, “Exact Opposite”, and “Completely Irrelevant”. By learning the patterns of the ACT, you gain the skills to crack any question and end up spending less time studying overall!

One advantage of using the ACT Prep Black Book is that it contains detailed analyses and breakdowns of the most challenging ACT test questions from the Official ACT Prep Guide. These put the strategies into practice and teach you how to best apply them.

For ACT Math, this ACT book gives you a review of the math concepts, then provides certain rules that every ACT Math question must follow. One surprising rule is that every ACT math question can be solved in 30 seconds or less, if you find out the most efficient way of solving it. Another tip is that the scale used on the diagrams in ACT math is almost always accurate, which can help eliminate wrong answers.

The ACT Science section in the ACT Prep Black book follows the same groove as the ACT Math and Reading sections, giving answer rule patterns, approaches, common answer choices, and question breakdowns. It’s the same situation with ACT English.

One flaw is that the ACT Writing section in this ACT book is short and not very detailed. It does an OK job of giving an outline to follow, but not many specific pointers to getting a high ACT score on the writing section.

That aside, this is one of the best ACT books on the market for its strategies and quality of writing. Don’t miss it!


Like this post? Read our:

Ultimate ACT Guide

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SAT Prep Black Book Review

Good luck studying!

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