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Increase scores (and confidence!) with Sylvan ACT preparation courses

Unlike most ACT prep programs, Sylvan offers a balanced approach to our prep courses. Our proven mix includes teacher-led instruction (available in-center or via live, online sessions), independent practice, a robust website with resources, thousands of video tutorials and multiple ACT practice tests.

This comprehensive approach ensures that your teen learns strategies for tackling every type of exam question (including the essay portion of the ACT). Plus, they can focus on the specific skill areas that need improvement.

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What does the Sylvan ACT preparation program offer?

With our ACT Prep, your teen can take full advantage of:

  • Guidance from expert ACT tutors who know the college/university entrance exam inside and out
  • A personalized, online lesson path for extra instruction and practice to improve the skills that need the most help
  • Flexible, in-person or online hours to fit your student’s busy schedule

Get started with ACT practice tests and scores

Students start with a Sylvan Prep ACT practice test, which generates a score report that will help us identify areas for improvement and personalize their lessons. This score report includes:

  • Total composite score on the 1-36 scale
  • Individual and combined section scores for English, Math, Reading and Science on the 1-36 scale
  • Estimated ACT Writing Test Score for each of the four Writing traits on a 2-12 scale (Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization and Language Use)
  • Breakdown of item-level performance showing the correct answer, your teen’s answer, and whether they got the question correct, incorrect or skipped it
  • ACT Cross-Test Analysis, which shows how well your teen uses skills to analyze texts and solve problems in History/Social Studies and Science
  • Sub-score information including total, number correct and incorrect, and percentage of possible raw points on a 1-15 scale
  • Section-level analysis, including total items correct, incorrect, blank, raw points and percentage of possible points

Prep anywhere with online ACT Prep tools

With Sylvan’s ACT preparation, you also get Sylvan Prep Online — our personalized online learning environment. This gives your teen 24/7 access to:

  • Thousands of detailed video lessons on how to approach ACT test questions, so there aren’t any surprises on test day
  • Subject-specific video lessons to help improve the biggest areas of need
  • vocabulary-building tool to conquer the extensive reading required on the ACT
  • Tons of short quizzes so teens can get even more practice with questions similar to what they’ll see on the ACT
  • Full-length, timed practice tests to prepare for the pace and format of the ACT and build confidence for test day

Sylvan ACT preparation FAQs

icon - FAQ

How many weeks is Sylvan’s ACT preparation course?

Our most popular ACT Prep Course usually takes 26 hours and runs 8 weeks prior to ACT test dates. Depending on your teen’s goals and current strengths and weaknesses, the course may be longer or shorter.

How much does Sylvan ACT preparation cost?

Typically, ACT Prep courses average around $999. However, each of our Sylvan centers is locally owned and operated, so pricing varies slightly by center. Contact a Sylvan near you for up-to-date pricing.

Does Sylvan offer ACT Prep classes online?

Yes! Many local Sylvans offer live ACT Prep classes online as well as in person. Contact your local Sylvan for more details.


Have questions about the ACT? Here’s some general information to help you and your teen feel more confident about taking the test.

How is the ACT structured?

The ACT is a 3-hour, multiple-choice test designed to measure academic achievement in four major curriculum areas: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. An optional 40-minute Writing Test is designed to measure composition skills.

How is the ACT scored?

The ACT will provide the following scores to your teen and the colleges/universities that they apply to:

  • State and national percentile scores
  • Progress toward national benchmarks
  • Individual English, Math, Reading and Science scores on a scale from 1-36
  • Composite score on scale of 1-36 (average of multiple-choice test scores)
  • English Language Arts score on 1-36 scale that averages English, Reading and Writing scores
  • STEM score on 1-36 scale that averages Math and Science scores
  • Progress toward Career Readiness rating on a scale of 1-36, including levels of proficiency from bronze to platinum
  • 5 scores for the optional Writing Test:
    • One combined average Writing score on 2-12 scale
    • Four scores on a scale of 2-12 for each domain of writing competency:
      • Ideas and Analysis
      • Development and Support
      • Organization
      • Language Use and Conventions

What’s the best way to prepare for the ACT?

Prep courses like the ones we offer are a great way to prepare for testing and improve scores. But there are other ways to make sure your teen is ready to do their best!

Here are some great tips for preparing for and taking the ACTs.

Before the test:

  • Start studying early: Set up a study schedule months in advance to eliminate the need for cramming.
  • Take practice tests: Taking multiple practice tests will make students feel more comfortable with the testing experience and remove much of the mystery involved with college/university entrance exams.
  • Sleep and eat: Studies have found that stress is elevated by fatigue. Be sure that your teen gets plenty of uninterrupted sleep in the nights prior to the test day. And, since the ACT is generally offered in the morning, it’s important to eat a good, healthy breakfast before the test. This will keep students energized for a long day and help them stay focused and alert.
  • Come early and prepared: Make sure your teen is at the test site early and has all of their testing supplies. Plan bathroom breaks for before the test starts and during breaks in testing. Being late or missing materials will cause unnecessary stress.

During the test:

  • Use process of elimination: If your teen is having trouble with a question, the best strategy is to get rid of any answer choices they feel can’t be correct and make a guess from the remaining answers.
  • Never leave an answer blank: If your student can’t eliminate any of the answer choices, or if they feel it would take too long to answer the question, make a random guess — it can’t hurt!
  • Keep going: The items on the test include a range of difficulties, and they appear in a mixed order. If your teen finds one type of question challenging, they should mark it and come back.
  • Watch out for the dreaded “I’m one off” syndrome: Make sure students periodically check their answer sheets to make sure they have not misplaced an answer.

Mark it up: Marking up questions helps teens focus on key parts of the question or eliminate answer choices as they work. Marking up the booklet will not only improve both their understanding of questions and concentration on the day of the test, it will also help them manage their time efficiently.

Hear what other Sylvan families say about our ACT

“We received my daughter’s scores back from her ACT test and her scores improved by 3 points. I am thankful for the Sylvan ACT Prep class.”

Chanel H.

Hear what other Sylvan families say about our ACT

“You cannot get a better place for your kids’ SAT & ACT prep. Their one-on-one attention to kids is unmatched.”

Ayo T.

Hear what other Sylvan families say about our ACT

“We are very satisfied my daughter went from an 18 to 21 on her ACT; she was so happy!”

Christy M.

ACT Prep classes near me

ACT Prep is available at select Sylvan centers. Give us a call at (888) 338-2283 or fill out the form to discuss your student’s learning goals.


ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

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