ACT Online Prep

Hello, I read in one of your posts about the best ways to prep for the ACT that their online prep program is useful only for the practice test, but the lessons are "no good." I bought the online program before I read this, and I really trust the PrepScholar advice. I was wondering if you could explain what aspects of the online program aren't good. I want to make the best use of my time, so until I can buy the books you suggested this summer, what parts of the ACT online might be valuable (besides the practice tests)? Thanks, Tyler

I consulted with Allen, who wrote the article you quoted in your question. He wrote that the program was "no good" at a time when it was called ACTropolis and was, in fact, definitively terrible. However, a new ACT online program was released in January of this year, and it's a significant improvement over the old version. Here's Allen's take on the version of the program you bought:

"The adaptive program didn't work for me, and the structured program gave 250+ lesson options to work through. So I would say that it's a good source of practice questions, but the lessons are very factual and not that engaging, they don't teach a lot of strategy, and they don't structure student time effectively to maximize score - there are too many questions and not enough guidance on where to focus."

Essentially, the online program is still best used as a resource for practice questions. You might find some of the lessons helpful if you're still working on learning the basic content of the test, but the hardest part of the ACT for most students is its timing and format. Test-taking strategies should take center stage once you get over the initial hump of learning essential content. If you want reach a very high score range, you'll need to look elsewhere for tips on refining your strategy. It sounds like you're already planning on getting some supplemental review books for this purpose, so you're on the right track.

Source: Allen Cheng, PrepScholar founder/resident test prep guru