2 years ago
Admissions Advice


Hi everyone! I am currently a junior and have a unique-ish school situation. Long story short, my school wasn’t compliant or helpful at all when I couldn’t physically attend school due to medical reasons. They didn’t provide me with education for months, so now, I am currently being homeschooled just to finish up this year and get credit. My mom and I feel like we are on an island by ourselves and have no clue where to start the college admissions process. Right now I am trying to decide whether to take the SAT or ACT. Although I missed some school this year and wasn’t planning on taking either standardized test, I feel as though I am back on track and I want to at least try. For some background info, in school, I took mostly honors as well as AP lit. I’ve always been a straight A student except for one class (math) and even then, the grade was usually a high B. I thrive in English and History. Math isn’t usually my strong suit. I’m looking for some suggestions, advice, and any feedback that anyone is willing to give! This situation has made me so nervous and overwhelmed; it just feels very out of the norm for me so I wanted to reach out and ask for some guidance :) Thank you all for taking the time to read this!!!

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4 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

While both prepping for either the SAT or ACT will require some dedicated effort like months of work vs. weeks of work, they are not the same test. 50% of the SAT while 25% of the ACT is math. So if math is not your strong suit, I would opt for the ACT. That being said, the 50% math on the SAT is easier math than the ACT math. But I feel you will get a higher composite equivalent score if you master the ACT math and given your high achievement in reading and humanities you should do okay on the 2 out of the remaining 3 sections of the ACT. The ACT Science section is very doable because all the answers are in the passages, charts, and tables. To do well on the ACT science section you have to be good at looking for clues in the passages and circling back to them.

The resources you want to consider are the following:

-Official ACT prep book with sample test questions (ACT.ORG) I would get the current one and last years as well.

-Erica Meltzer - ACT English

-Michael Cerro - For the Love of ACT Science

-Nielson Phu- College Panda ACT Math, ACT Math Workbook

If you can't achieve your target score with these materials and taking practice tests, then consider signing up for a paid ACT prep course like SuperTutor.tv best ACT prep course. It's $250+- and good for 6 months. It's totally worth it.

Good luck.

2 years ago

Hey! I'm sorry that your school didn't provide you with the help you needed, but to answer your question there's multiple things for you to consider.

1. What colleges you're applying to, most colleges accept both SAT and ACT scores but some may only accept one or the other.

2. SAT tests only include Math and English (The latter being divided separate sections for writing and grammar) while the ACT tests include Math, English, History and Science.

3. Your personal opinion! This does fall down to what YOU want to do, so I cannot tell you to do one or the other.

But along with that, it's important to acknowledge that while both tests score you on what you've learned throughout high school the SATs are more specialized on what you'll need in college. And, if you're worried about not knowing the content you can always practice on sites such as Kahn Academy. I hope that's somewhat helpful in your journey and I wish you the best of luck!

(P.S. no matter what route you choose remember to stay confident, don't second guess yourself. It's all you need to do well on both of these tests.)

2 years ago

I recommend taking both a full ACT and SAT practice test to see which one you should focus on. Then, you can study for one test and retake it as many times as time allows until you receive your target score. For self-study tips, check out this CollegeVine livestream. The study strategy that worked the best for me personally was taking up-to-date practice tests. I wish you the best of luck!

2 years ago[edited]

Sorry to hear that your school did not provide you with the resources you need.

I am also a junior attending Marist High School in Atlanta Georgia.

As far as ACT vs SAT, I would highly suggest taking both, then focusing on the test you feel the most comfortable with. I took both tests and felt more confident on the ACT and with a lot of hard work and prep I was able to score a solid 34.

If you cannot take both tests for whatever reason:

For you, I would probably recommend the ACT. Despite the math concepts being more difficult compared to the SAT, the ACT only has 1 math section rather than two. Your excellent reading comprehension skills (based on your straight A's and English rigor) should help you excel in the Reading, English, and Science sections of the ACT. My only concern with the ACT is time, if you feel constantly rushed then maybe the SAT is a better fit. The issue with only taking one of these tests is that they are completely individual experiences so it is hard to tell which you will feel more comfortable with.

These are the resources I used to score a 34 on the ACT:

-test prep with an individual tutor once a week for two hours

(I would do 1 full test during the week in a practice book, then would review my missed questions with an online tutor over the weekend)

-utilizing resources such as ACT prep books and watching free strategy guides on Youtube

(There are TONS of awesome strategy videos on youtube if you are looking to work through the test faster and more efficiently)

Let me know if you have anything else I could help with! I have done a lot of research about the college process because, honestly, it is stressing me out.

-Barrett Feagin


National Merit Scholar

Top 0.8% of ACT 2022

Top 3% of SAT 2021

Top 1% of PSAT 2021

Varsity Dive Captian

3-time 5AAAAA State Champion

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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