She had found it on the shelves of the local big-box book store. I found it there as well, and brought it home. It quickly became a staple of my ACT work. The passages and questions have an ACT “feel” and there are plenty of them. The paper is of excellent quality that holds up well under markings and erasures. I was worried about the spine holding up since that is often an issue with books that are thick, so before I used it at all I reinforced the spine with clear packing tape. After moderate use the book shows no signs of falling apart or losing pages.
I was particularly pleased to see a number of paired passages in the reading section, since The Real ACT Prep Guide still hasn’t been updated to include these. I was also grateful for the trigonometry section. I had hoped for more trig problems.
There are, however, a few drawbacks:
- This book consists of practice questions ONLY. There is no review material, and there are no practice tests. If you have a tutor, this is an excellent source of problems, but if you don’t this book may not be as useful for you. If you need to practice your timing, you will need to find some good practice tests.
- I climbed on two different practice scales with this book. It doesn’t actually weigh five pounds; it weighs SIX pounds. This book is HUGE and HEAVY. I feel badly asking students to lug it to a session. I would love to see opportunities to buy just the math part, or just the grammar.
- The science sections just are quite ACT-like.
- The math sections don’t reflect the new emphases and expanded precalculus topics that were hinted at at the beginning of the summer. Needless to say, the new essay style isn’t in here, either. Look for a new edition in the coming months.
By the way, I really like these tabs:
They are Avery Printable Self-Adhesive Tabs (#16281). My students like them as well. We use them to mark pages we want to return to often. You can order either the book, or the tabs here: