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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

SAT vs ACT - Who Takes What?

Hey everyone, I'm a little bit stressed about which standardized test I should focus on. I was wondering if there's a specific group of students who usually take the SAT or the ACT? Are there any notable differences when deciding which one to take?

6 months ago

Hi there! It's completely normal to feel stressed when deciding between the SAT and ACT, but I'm here to help clarify the differences and similarities between the two tests.

In the past, there used to be certain regional preferences; for example, students on the East and West coasts were more likely to take the SAT, while students in the Midwest and South were more likely to take the ACT. However, today, both tests are widely accepted by universities across the United States, so the decision comes down to which test is a better fit for you.

There are some differences in format and content between the SAT and ACT:

1. Reading and Writing: In the SAT, there's a separate Reading section and a Writing and Language section, while the ACT combines those skills into one English section. The SAT focuses more on vocabulary, while the ACT emphasizes grammar and punctuation.

2. Math: The SAT Math section features a no-calculator section, while you can use your calculator for the entirety of the ACT Math section. Additionally, the SAT emphasizes algebra and precalculus, while the ACT covers a broader range of topics, including some trigonometry.

3. Science: The ACT has a dedicated Science section that tests data interpretation and reasoning skills, while the SAT doesn't have a specific Science section, though it does include some science context in the Reading and Writing sections.

4. Essay: Both the SAT and ACT provide optional essay sections, but they approach the essay differently. The SAT asks you to analyze a passage and explain how the author builds an argument, while the ACT prompts you to evaluate three perspectives on a given statement and state your own perspective.

5. Scoring: The SAT is scored out of 1600, while the ACT is scored out of 36.

To decide which test is better for you, you can take a diagnostic or practice version of each test to compare your scores and determine which one you feel more comfortable with. You can find free practice tests online on the official SAT and ACT websites or through resources like Khan Academy and CollegeVine.

Ultimately, the best test for you will depend on your personal strengths, and both exams are designed to assess your college readiness. The most important thing is to prepare well and choose the test that aligns with your skills and preferences. Good luck!

6 months ago

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