Elizabeth King has written a useful guide for students who strive to improve their test scores: Acing the ACT: An Elite Tutor's Guide to Tricky Questions and Secret Strategies that Make a Big Difference.
As the mother of a young man who desires a great test score, we've looked at many available publications and frequently found them lacking. King's guide is very straight forward and well organized, and opens with a statement that most students will immediately relate to: "The purpose of each subsection of the ACT isn't clear to most test takers." I wholeheartedly believe that statement is accurate. It's a distinct disadvantage and that likely provides a wealth of frustration. For that reason alone, I fully appreciate this easily understood book.
Section by section, sample question are reviewed and explained with extra attention given to such things as tricky word usage, the high frequency of cross multiplication mistakes, graph labels and identifying your key point in the essay. As parents, I believe we would overlook some of this wisdom King provides. Pointing out the pitfalls for students makes this worth the cost!
The true value in Acing the ACT is the clarity of its explanation of each subsection. After identifying the purpose of each, King provides a suggested plan of attack that includes tried and true methods. Additionally, she does a bit of myth busting (there are no patterns to the answers, kids!) and no-nonsense advice about note taking and practice tests. Her "categorization" method of note taking for ACT prep should be required of every student and it exposes the folly of taking practice tests - but not focusing on the reason you miss questions. Smartphones and texting get called out for their role in dumbing-down spelling skills (well put, Ms. King).
Last, but certainly not least, this book fits nicely in a purse or back pack, which is so much more useful for study on-the-go when compared to many cumbersome phone book sized guides. Go for quality over quantity. This does the trick nicely.
[I received this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review...and honestly, you need to buy this for every high school student you know.]