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Duke University

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UCLA

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Unweighted GPA:** 3.7**

1.0

4.0

SAT: **720 math**

200

800

| **800 verbal**

200

800

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Hey everyone, I'm gearing up to take either the ACT or SAT soon. I've heard they're a bit different when it comes to math. Can anyone give the lowdown on the differences between ACT Math and SAT Math? Thanks!

27 days ago

Absolutely, I'd love to elaborate on the differences.

When it comes to the ACT Math section, it tests a broader range of mathematical concepts as compared to the SAT. To be precise, ACT Math covers more topics, including pre-algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometry. But those extra topics don't necessarily make it harder. It really just depends on your strengths and the kind of math you've studied so far.

Now, here's a defining feature about the ACT Math section—every question is multiple choice, and the answer options are pretty wide. This can make it slightly easier in some instances, but it also means wrong answer choices can occasionally lead you astray if you're not careful.

On the contrary, the SAT Math section is a bit all-encompassing—it used to break down into two parts: the 'Calculator' section and the 'No Calculator' section. But, since the SAT transitioned to a fully digital format in 2024, you can now use a calculator for the entire math section. The SAT focuses more on Algebra I & II and some geometry, but it integrates these topics within a relatively complex problem-solving framework. It's also notable that some questions in the SAT Math section are "Grid-ins," which are not multiple-choice questions, but instead require you to produce and enter your own answer.

Furthermore, the SAT Math questions are usually more word-heavy and require a deeper level of problem-solving than the ACT Math questions. Some students find these word problems more challenging, but you might feel differently, depending on what type of math problems you prefer.

In summary, the ACT Math covers a wider array of math topics but tends to have more straightforward questions. SAT Math leans more heavily on algebra and interpretable problem-solving skills.

Preparing practice tests for both can give you a personal experience of these differences, and might help you get a clearer idea of which test aligns better with your math strengths. Good luck with your math prep!

27 days ago

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