Here is a list of college-level/nonfiction articles and books you can read to get your reading ability to ACT level. The key to finding good texts to read to prepare for the ACT is to find material that challenges you and that is similar to what you might see on the ACT, which is primarily non-fiction. These readings might be challenging and unfamiliar to you, but that’s the point.

I’ve tried my best to find books that most people find enjoyable to read. Good luck!

Suggested Reading List:

These websites contain articles at a higher reading level than most news websites. The reading level of these articles is college-level, which is the level of reading you will see on the ACT.


Website articles:

national geographic

news.nationalgeographic.com (National Geographic)

National Geographic publishes articles about geography, history, and world culture.

 
 

the economist

economist.com (The Economist)

The Economist publishes articles related to the economy. It targets highly educated readers.

the new yorker

newyorker.com (The New Yorker)

The sections you can browse on this website are News, Culture, Politics, Science & Tech, and Business.

foreign affairs

foreignaffairs.com (Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Affairs publishes articles about American foreign policy and global affairs.

 

new york times

nytimes.com (The New York Times)

On the left side of the page, you can choose topics such as World, U.S., Politics, Business, Technology, Science, and Health.

Non-fiction books

These books are all non-fiction, which is what most of the reading on the ACT will be. This is just an introductory list—feel free to look for any other non-fiction book that interests you.

The point is to find books of different genres that push you to become more familiar with non-fiction. The more you read books you are currently unfamiliar, the less unfamiliar the ACT reading will seem to you.

The books here are all enormously popular books that you will probably actually enjoy reading. Nonfiction does not need to be boring or painful!

freakonomics by stephen dubner

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This is an extremely popular book that applies economics to real life in a way that is fascinating and fun to read. It is broken up into small sections for quick and enjoyable reading. We highly recommend this book.


 
 
 

the world is flat by thomas friedman

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, by Thomas L. Friedman

This book examines the events in the twenty-first century that completely changed the world. It has been highly recommended countless times by countless people. You will learn A LOT of useful things from this book.

 
 
 

the total money makeover by dave ramsey

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, by Dave Ramsey

Learn how to manage your money and build wealth from one of America’s most well-known financial coaches. This is an extremely practical book that can heavily influence your future and how you look at money!

 
 

the lean startup by eric ries

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries

Whether or not you plan to start a business, this book is a fascinating read about what makes ideas and businesses successful. This book will give you ideas for how you can make a difference and influence others with original ideas that people are interested in.

 
 

getting things done by david allen

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen

The title of this book pretty much speaks for itself. In a world where time always just seems so limited, this is an invaluable book about how to make the most of our time and enjoy our lives at the same time.

 
 
 
 

the success principles by jack canfield and janet switzer

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer

Again, this title is pretty self-explanatory. In this book, the authors spell out “the 64 timeless principles used by successful men and women throughout history.” Applying these principles could very well change the way you live your life.

 
 

getting things done by david allen

This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works

This book contains a lot of short articles that are perfect for preparing for the types of passages you might see on the ACT, especially the Natural Science passage. The articles are short enough that you can read one when you have some extra time.

 
 
 

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