Best ACT Test Preparation books for Mathematics

American College Testing or commonly known as ACT is the official examination in the USA to enter college life. Conducted by ACT, Inc., this test assesses the students’ academic achievements in high schools and their preparedness for the higher studies. Studying deeply for this competitive exam is pretty important but studying it in the best effective way is even more important. Mathematics, being the second most significant one in the 3 hours 35 minutes test after English, is given the weight age of 60 minutes for 60 questions. Therefore, in this article, we will provide you with the information on the best of the books available in the market for ACT mathematics preparation.

#1. The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2018-2019 also called the "Red Book"

If you are gearing up yourself to enhance mathematics skills for ACT, this guide is the best source for you. Formerly known as the Real ACT Prep Guide, this is the second edition of the book and has been bestselling for years. What makes this book a special one is its authors who have been the ACT test makers as well at some point in their lives. So, you will get to see some content in this book which you might witness in the exam. In the latest edition, a broad survey of high-school mathematics is done. Based on this survey, questions are ordered in easy to hard sequence. You'll find efficacious test-clearing strategies, tips for boosting your score straight from the expert’s mind. It includes four new full-length practice tests along with access code for an additional 400 questions accessible online that will help you spot weak areas in advance so that you can prepare yourself well for the test day.
Drawback: The explanation in the book isn't very thorough.

#2. Ultimate Guide To the Math Act

Since ACT is similar to what you have been taught in high-school, this book serves the exact purpose. It explains ACT math concepts in an explicit and concise way. These concepts have been tested on the ACT. Furthermore, it references and categorizes questions from the Real ACT Prep Guide which you might find a great idea because there is no better practice than using real ACT questions during the preparation process. This book is comprised of two parts. The first part identifies the gap between mathematics principles and the students. Not just identification, this book serves the solution as well in the most effective way. Answers to the questions are thoroughly explained.

The second part of the book is completely the strategic one. It contains the methods and tricks to crack the exam keeping the students understanding in mind. Simply put, it covers all the regions tested on ACT math, displaying section-by-section conceptual overviews and followed by test questions that implement and extend the concepts.
Drawback: The problems aren't solved step by step making it hard to understand the solutions at times.

#3. Barron's ACT, 2nd Edition

The whole new edition of Barron’s ACT is designed to reflect the most recent changes made in ACT. It might be your ACT preparation coach as this extensively covers the fundamentals of math. There are enough practice tests to give you a comprehensive idea of what the actual test will be like. The advice from this book is well-written and easy to follow even for a mediocre student. Additional statistics and probability questions in the math practice tests are something you will be caught up with pretty easily. Math chapters cover pre-algebra, elementary algebra, and intermediate algebra; and plane geometry, coordinate geometry, and trigonometry.
Drawback: Too thorough for the ACT test making it too time consuming.

#4. ACT Prep Black Book

This is the book that will make you shine on the ACT if you act on its guidance in the exact way it wants you to follow. Though this book does not intensively teach you about the math concepts, it focuses more on what strategies the students MUST work on to attend ACT math. According to the author of ACT Prep Black Book, Mike Barrett - "The ACT is a predictable test that uses the same pattern year after year thus if you study the question types and patterns thoroughly, you can recognize exactly what each question is asking from you. And the heart of the matter is, you can beat the test by truly understanding how it works in an in-depth way." And, this is evident in the hundreds of sample solutions in this book and also in the many short chapters on technique, focus, practice, and all of those other related skills that make the difference between a decent score and a prestigious one.
Drawback: It is a good book if you are already familiar with the math concepts. The book doesn't have questions of it's own but provides an insight on solving the questions from The Official ACT Prep Guide.

#5. Mcgraw-Hill’s Top 50 Skills for Math

The catchiest thing a student will find about this book is its engaging writing method. As the name suggests, this book discusses the top 50 skills to help you get ready for ACT math. The sample questions illustrate each concept in such a way that you would want to stick with the book. If you have even a decent math background, this book is for you. This book has an indicative pre-test that you can use to assess your skills, as well as a post-test to propel your progress.
Drawback: Doesn't have many questions and not many tips or strategies.

#6. ACT Math: The Guide: Skip the Prep Courses

Whether the students need a little bit of help, or just help in some specific areas of math, this guide is flexible to meet their needs. The personalized approach in explanation of the math concept is what this book all about. It’s claimed to be designed as a replacement for prep courses. Every topic in the book is connected to each other through links to allow students or readers to jump between skills easily. They will find videos on every topic which is specific and concentrated on the exact problems the students come across. More than 400 ACT math practice questions with step-by-step solutions will surely help students crack ACT.
Drawback: Although a great book, it is full of careless mistakes - typing errors and wrong answers and explanations.

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