ACT to add free online test prep this spring


ACT announced Tuesday that it is creating a free online program to help students prepare for the standardized test. The program, ACT Academy, is set to launch this spring, but students can begin signing up to receive notifications before the start date.

Developed by ACT, Khan Academy, NASA and others, the program will feature educational games, personalized resources and official practice tests.

Students will have access to personalized study plans based on their ACT or Practice ACT scores. There will also be video lessons and interactive practice questions along with tips and strategies.

Ed Colby, spokesperson for the nonprofit testing organization, told Ed Scoop that ACT had been thinking about starting this program for awhile. It eventually “moved forward because there was a need for it,” he said.

“It’s designed to help students with specific academic needs,” Colby said. “It looks at results of the ACT to point out where students have areas where they’re not doing well in. ACT Academy will provide them with links to resources that are designed to help them deal with those areas.”

ACT Academy will be accessible anywhere, anytime to internet-ready devices. Because the program will be free, ACT Chief Commercial Officer Suzana Delanghe hopes it will shrink the gap “in equity, opportunity and achievement for underserved learners.” The goal is to offer a money-saving alternative to other monetized ACT prep sites and courses, such as Kaplan’s test-preparation program and the Princeton Review’s online course. Those range from about $100 to $250.

“ACT Academy will help students improve their readiness for the ACT test and college and career by giving them the resources they need to increase their understanding of core academic skills,” Delanghe said in an official statement.

The ACT Academy is designed to be able to hone in on potentially missed key building blocks so that students can learn and progress in more advanced topics.

Colby said the ACT has not settled on an exact release date, but March is the goal.