2 years ago
Admissions Advice

ACT vs. SAT - does it matter?

I notice most colleges/Univ look or reference SAT scores in their websites. Does it matter if you take the ACT instead of the SAT. Pros and Cons of each test please from the college/univ perspective?

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @ctchwd to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.

Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

All colleges that are test optional are completely agnostic to whether you submit an SAT or ACT test score or both. What is true is that there are more ACT test centers in the Midwest and South and more SAT test centers on the West and East coast so if the college you are applying to is in the Midwest like Notre Dame in Indiana, they will get more ACT test submissions because of more MidWest applicants. So there is probably a teeny advantage to submitting an SAT on the lower 25% band if you are applying to a Midwest college. 1410-1550 is the SAT range at ND, and 32-35 is the ACT range. So 1410 is really a 31 ACT but 1550 is a solid 35 ACT. I would look at each college's common data set to verify if there is a misalignment of test scores submitted. Most schools have equivalent SAT to ACT scores.

I do not think it ever matters if you have a 35 ACT and 1560 SAT to submit both since they are equivalent but some students want to flex their test scores and submit both, thinking that someone will think they did twice as much standardized test work so they deserve a higher admit pile position. But I feel that smart reader will nod their head and wonder why they didn't put the 200 hours of extra work into an EC activity or take a college course instead.

2 years ago

All universities, in some way or the other, mention on their websites that they do not give preference to one test over the other. Many don't even require test scores.

Whether you choose to take the SAT or the ACT depends on which one you'll do better. If you're unsure about which one to take, read the following post:


Hope this helps!

2 years ago

I've heard from many of my peers that they found the ACT to be more difficult because of the tougher time constraints, but I personally found it to be easier. I recommend taking both tests and seeing which one you like/perform better on.

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)

Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works