SAT or ACT?

Photo courtesy of thegarnetmine.com

Photo courtesy of thegarnetmine.com

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The SAT and ACT are very important in a young student’s career, and making a good score is imperative.

Many colleges base the likelihood of being accepted into how you’ve scored on either standardized test. The SAT and ACT are different, and it can be confusing at times to notice the subjects each test focuses on.

The ACT is a college entrance exam that covers four academic skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. There is also an optional writing exam offered.  The math portion (which allows the use of a calculator)  covers subjects like arithmetics, algebra 1 & 2, geometry, trigonometry, and probability. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36.

The SAT is also a college entrance exam, but slightly different. The test structure is comprised of reading, mathematics, writing & literature, and the optional writing exam. The SAT covers the same math subjects as the ACT, but a calculator may not be used on all of the questions. The grading score is based on a scale of 400-1600.

Universities don’t prefer one test over the other, and one is not ‘harder.’ Although, different types of students might favor a different exam. For example, the ACT has slightly more complex math, and the science section really has nothing to do with science- it’s more based on critical thinking.

The SAT writing portion will give an essay and ask you to find evidence and evaluate, whereas the ACT will ask you to support one of three argumentative essays.