person taking online act test prep with a notebook and computer

Those with the ACT test on their horizon have several options when it comes to test prep—after all, a good ACT score can heighten any student’s chances of getting into the college of their choice or earning an important scholarship. ACT online prep can be an affordable and effective option for test prep, but how does it compare to other ACT study methods? This article explores the different kinds of ACT prep and how students can use them to get closer to their goal score!

The Types of ACT Prep

Does ACT prep actually work? The short answer is yes; everything one does beyond schoolwork will improve their chance of success on the ACT exam. If a student puts time and effort into ACT test prep, they’ll be rewarded on their  test day by remembering the test content they’ve studied and by being more adept at solving ACT problems. 

When it comes to prepping for the ACT, the options are generally: one-on-one tutoring, class or course-based prep, self-guided prep with textbooks, and self-guided online ACT test prep. Private tutoring and test prep classes give students the advantage of having an instructor guide them through their prep; as such, they are the more expensive options. Self-guided textbook prep and online prep are more affordable but require students to keep themselves accountable and motivated. Further, with self-guided prep, students don’t have access to multiple explanations of ACT concepts and problems, so they won’t always be guaranteed to understand the material.

What is the Most Effective Way to Prepare for the ACT?

Different types of test prep can work better for different students, but which test prep method is the proven way to improve scores on the ACT test

A study by ACT (2018) researched the efficacy of 10 ACT test prep methods, including courses/workshops, one-on-one prep with a private tutor, using textbooks or workbooks, online prep, and more. It found that there isn’t much of a difference which test prep method you use ahead of your first ACT exam.

Generally, students who retake standardized exams tend to increase their scorestaking the ACT a second time has demonstrated a 1-2 point increase on composite scores. When this study examined different ACT prep methods’ effects on the second time students took the ACT, it found that private, one-on-one tutoring was the only form of prep that made a marginal difference compared to the other types.

Overall, this study found that all types of test prep are helpful (especially online ACT test prep, school-sponsored test prep workshops/courses, and test prep workbooks/textbooks), but the only method that has had a significant impact on retest scores is one-on-one, personalized tutoring. All forms of test prep generally expose students to the ACT and the concepts it tests, making them more familiar with the exam. However, the nature of individualized, instructor-led prep seems to meaningfully improve students’ scores beyond what mere exposure does. This improvement is because someone knowledgeable is there to identify why a student is struggling and can offer multiple explanations tailored to the student. 

Piqosity Recreates Personal Tutoring

It’s an all-too-common predicament: students want to set themselves up to get the best score they can on the ACT, but they cannot afford a private tutor or don’t have time for personal tutoring sessions.

Piqosity’s goal is to democratize education and create a personalized learning and practice experience for every learner. That’s why our online test prep courses are designed to mirror the personalization of private tutoring, tailoring our vast selection of ACT practice resources to the needs of each learner. Our features combine online test prep’s flexibility with the effectiveness of personal, one-on-one tutoring. 

To illustrate the difference in affordability, let’s compare the cost of private tutoring versus Piqosity test prep one-on-one test prep. Let’s say a student enrolls in a private test prep course that charges $100/hour (which is on the more affordable end of the spectrum of private tutoring)—that’s $1,600 for just one hour of prep per week for four months. On the other hand, that student can purchase Piqosity’s Honors package for a one-time cost of $149 and have access to all of our ACT materials as well as the AI-driven personalized learning and tools that come with them.

Answer Explanations and Testing Tools

Piqosity aims to help students fully understand the material they’re working on. Just like a private tutor would break down a question their student doesn’t understand by explaining how to work through it, our team of professional tutors and educators write comprehensive and detailed answer explanations with students in mind.

Every Piqosity question comes with at least one detailed answer explanation that provides a guide through the solution and explains why it’s the best answer. If a student still doesn’t get it, there’s no reason to worry—anyone can request additional explanations for a practice question from the expert educators in our network. 

Our testing software also provides tools that can help learners practice essential test-taking strategies. Piqosity ACT practice questions include features that assist in improving time management skills, such as customizable timers, the ability to flag difficult questions and come back to them, and an answer choice eliminator.

Piqosity Virtual Tutor (PVT)

Every Piqosity student is accompanied on their learning journey by the Piqosity Virtual Tutor! In combination with our detailed answer explanations, PVT helps Piqosity recreate the guidance and personalization of private tutoring by making it easy for learners to navigate Piqosity’s advanced features and adjusting course outlines to fit their individual needs.

PVT does the work of an instructor to create an individualized plan for each student to work through Piqosity’s ACT test prep course. When a student inputs their desired score and test date, PVT creates an editable, personalized study schedule that enables users to meet their exact ACT goals. 

Then, as the student works through the course, PVT will guide them through the lessons they should study, give them practice questions on those lessons, provide more questions on topics they have yet to master, and continuously detail their performance in a progress report. This emulates the way that a tutor would make sure their student stays on track and pays extra attention to their weaknesses.

Note: PVT 2.0 is coming out this fall! It will automatically tell students when to take a full-length test to check their progress, among other exciting features—more information on this huge update to PVT is coming soon, so keep an eye out!

Affordable and Personalized ACT Online Test Prep: Piqosity

Online ACT test prep can be worth it. The key to effective test prep is developing a thorough understanding of the material, which the individualized attention of an instructor can help students attain. Piqosity is able to recreate this personalized attention with our extensive question base and answer explanations, alongside PVT’s capabilities to create a personal study schedule and guide students through it.

If you’re interested in flexible, affordable, and individualized test prep, get started on the right foot by beginning a Piqosity ACT or SAT test prep course—if you want extra subject-specific help for you or your student, you can even bundle this test prep with our full-length ELA and Math courses! Our extensive online prep offers an incredible set of resources, designed to help you reach your goal score in the time you have. 

When you sign up for Piqosity, you have access to our test prep materials for 365 days. So, no matter how many times you take the test, you will have the resources of Piqosity on your side. You can try out all of Piqosity’s features with our free community account. When you’re ready to upgrade, Piqosity’s year-long accounts start at only $89. Plus, get a 10% off coupon just by signing up for our mailing list!