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Peter Poer

Free ACT Practice Materials

Where can you find free practice ACT resources?

Released ACT Exams

Your best source for free ACT practice tests is the actual people behind the ACT. ACT, Inc. has released several past exams. Here’s their practice test for 2014-2015, and here are some additional practice sections. (Note: the ACT refers to each section as a “test,” so when you see “Math Test” it means the math section from a complete ACT).

These are the best practice tests you can find — straight from the test creators. However, they don’t release a ton of free stuff. A simple Google search will give you lots of additional options, but not all free ACT practice tests are created equal.

Why Are They Free?

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Well, it’s true in every arena — including test prep.

If you’re taking a free practice test, you should think about why it’s free. ACT.org releases free tests so that people can prep for the exam and do as well as possible. Other companies (like Magoosh!) will give away free materials in the hopes that it will lead you to purchase additional resources. Companies like us have an incentive to make sure that our materials are good — you won’t buy premium service if the free stuff isn’t good, after all.

But there are other companies that will give away free stuff because they’re going to sell advertisements or — worse — data about you. You should be wary of these sources — they have no incentive to give you top-quality test prep materials, and moreover they may end up selling your email address to any number of random third parties. Before you know it, you’re getting emails for Rogaine or Donkey Rental.

Tester Beware: Bad ACTs Abound!

Just because practice tests are free doesn’t mean they’re a good use of your time. There are lots of publishers out there that produce content quickly and — let’s face it — poorly. If you’re going to spend multiple hours taking a practice test, make sure that test is as close to the real ACT as possible.

If you’re using something created by ACT, Inc. then you can be pretty sure it will be good. But for other materials, it will be well worth your time to do some quick evaluation before you start taking practice tests. First, use materials from sources you trust. ACT.org and Magoosh are great places to start. You can also get a good sense of a company’s test quality by reading some student reviews of the other materials that are available. Finally, you can evaluate the practice test yourself by quickly scanning to make sure the passages look like what you’ve seen on the officially released exams.

Additional Resources

We all know that the ACT and SAT test are pretty different from one another: different formats, different scoring, different subjects tested. However, if you’re preparing for both exams, you’ll start to notice that there is quite a bit of overlap when it comes to required skills.

Don’t think about the two exams as the ACT vs. the SAT, but as more of an ACT/SAT venn diagram. They share a lot of content, especially at a basic level.

So, with that in mind, feel free to use some of Magoosh SAT’s free resources to brush up on your basic skills:


About Peter Poer

Peter helps make sure Magoosh students have the best possible content. A proud Arizona Wildcat and Teach for America alum, he worked as an instructional coach before getting an MBA at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He is passionate about student achievement and educational equity. Also prime numbers. Peter enjoys cooking, running (slowly), and going to bed comically early.

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