4 months ago
Admissions Advice

Is there a big difference between the ACT versus the SAT?

I'm a junior who hasn't taken the ACT or SAT yet and was wondering whether one is preferred over the other in terms of sending your scores to a college. I have no prior knowledge of it nor alot of information about it.

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
4 months ago

Read these blog posts and watch the video.

These will better inform you on what you need to know to make a decision on which one to sign up for.

Good luck.




4 months ago

Each state has its own test preference and so does every college. Most state schools prefer the ACT but the few private colleges near me will take either

4 months ago

The SAT is more common out of the two, but you can submit scores from both to many colleges. It has a couple of sections: math (no calculator), math (calculator), reading (basically comprehension), and writing (basically grammar). It's run by the same institution that makes AP exams - College Board - and your score is between 400 and 1600. A "good" score is subjective, but generally speaking, anything above ~1300 is pretty darn good, with upwards of 1500 being Ivy League material. I've only taken the PSAT, but my friends have told me that it's harder than the ACT. Take that as you will.

The ACT is run by a more obscure organization called ACT Inc. They really only make ACT tests; I'm racking my brain for anything else, but nope, I think it's just that. The ACT has four sections as well, but they're different: English, math, reading, and science. I've never taken it, nor the preACT, but my uncle said it's easier to get a good score on it than the SAT since it's weighted differently. See, it's graded on a scale of 1-36, which means you can miss more questions and still get around the same score. Since math isn't weighted 50% on the ACT, if you're better at the humanities, take this one.

Obviously, if you have the chance, you should take them both (multiple times). However, I realize not everyone has the opportunity to do so, which is why if you have to pick one and can only take it once (and your college accepts both), you should practice, practice, practice using mock exams from both and see which one you're better at.


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