ACT has just released ACT Academy, which is designed to help students “master the skills they need to improve their ACT scores.” But it is actually helpful? Let’s break it down.
First, the SAT and the ACT have quite the reputation.
There is a pretty sizeable, and not completely unfounded, belief that these standardized tests are so enigmatic that the only students who can do well are those who pay for elite prep. SAT battled this
reputation by partnering with Khan Academy to provide free resources to students prepping for the test. Now ACT is feeling pressure to match these efforts.
Enter ACT Academy…
The kids in the ACT Academy promo are clearly having more fun than the rest of us.
What it’s got
ACT Academy offers students a single site to take practice questions and do targeted topic review. However, when the confetti settle*, these students will realize that all the information on ACT Academy is already widely available on the Internet. No need to create yet another login and receive even more emails. ACT Academy uses questions from previously released ACTs, so any student who has done even a cursory search for ACT questions will likely have already seen these questions.
“But it’s got new content, right?”
No, it does not. When you miss a question from one of the practice tests, they give you links to YouTube videos on the subject of the question. Miss a question on matrices? Here’s a video about matrices! You could easily find these videos on your own using everyone’s favorite search engine, Bing.
Okay, yes, ACT Academy does some of the legwork for you by labeling the questions you miss to help you identify and classify those mistakes. It also has issued what is essentially a stamp of approval on the videos it includes on the website, helping you sort the good videos out there on the internet from the incredibly boring and/or incredibly confusing ones. It’s also free. Everyone loves free.
What to do instead
ACT Academy is a good place to start your ACT prep. You’ll see some practice questions and get an idea of where you stand. If you need more comprehensive material to help you translate effort to score increases, get in touch.
There probably won’t be any confetti, but we think efficiency is its own kind of party, don’t you?
* Confetti is a plural noun! Did you know that??!?