25 days ago
Admissions Advice

ACT experience??? please help!

So, I am really sick of Collegeboard and the SAT:( I made the big mistake of taking March SAT, which was nothing like the practice tests available at the time. THEN Collegeboard turned around and released accurate practice tests...so I am pretty upset. Feel trapped into spending more money on tests and wasting more time on studying. On top of all that, I just found out that the SAT scoring algorithm is not what any of us expected...some of the difficult questions may be worth 30 points, not 10, which changes everything. I am not sure about you all, but I was taught to focus on the easy questions because, originally, all the questions were the same point value. Needless to say, I am MAD!

I am considering trying the ACT. Has anyone preferred the ACT? Why? I heard it is more reading comprehension based, less math. Why did you choose the ACT? Was the math super hard compared to SAT? I am struggling to get SAT math above 660.

Also, has anyone done the digital version of the ACT?

Thanks guys. ANY insight would be appreciated!


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Accepted Answer
25 days ago

Hey! Sorry to hear about your situation! From my personal experience, if you are looking for standardized testing that is less taxing math wise, go for the ACT. It is a much more comprehensive and simple, relying mainly on basic knowledge such as algebra, geometry, and statistics. I always have found the math section on the ACT to be quite manageable, with the exception of the last ten questions which are usually geared towards more pre-calculus concepts. Other than the last ten questions, the math is pretty straightforward (and English and Reading Comprehension definitely play a lot more into your score). Regardless, the grading on the math is pretty generous too. You can get around 20 questions wrong and still score above average for math on the ACT.

All in all, I definitely prefer the ACT to the SAT when it comes to math. The SAT tends to like to be more “puzzle-solving” I would say, whereas the majority of the math questions on the ACT are very straightforward with only some interpretation necessary. Also if you are good with graphs and charts, the ACT is definitely better both in regards to the math and the science section. I have only ever taken a paper ACT exam so I couldn’t speak to the digital version, but I have yet to regret taking or retaking the ACT because of its comprehensibility. Even if you don’t score well the first time, it is pretty easy to increase your score by retaking it because the test format/questions stay relatively the same and it’s easy to capitalize and improve on the skills you’ve missed. I’ve increased my score immensely every time I have retaken the ACT.

Hope any of this information helps! Best of luck!

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


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