If you’re a student, you’ve likely heard of the SAT or ACT. Both are pivotal tests you must take when you apply to most 4-year colleges and universities. The higher your score, the more likely you’ll get accepted into the admissions program.
Do you know which one to take? Here’s a breakdown of what each test is about and why you should take them both seriously.
SAT Focuses on Problem Solving and Analytics
The SAT is an important aptitude test that helps determine your level of knowledge in a variety of subjects derived from a high school curriculum. The overall time to take this test is around three hours and 50 minutes. While it tests on basic subject matter, it has a strong literary focus and analyzes your comprehension level. If you’re good at academic English, reading and solving story problems, you should score well.
ACT Is a Traditional Q & A Test
The ACT is a multiple-choice style standardized test that highlights your strong points in a variety of areas. One advantage of the ACT is that it takes less time to complete than the SAT. The test time, sans writing sample, is two hours and 55 minutes. If you’re someone who may have trouble focusing for long periods and you hate written tests, this may be the one to take.
The SAT has a mandatory written section, so if that may throw you off, take the ACT. The ACT focuses on science and math. It homes in on your critical thinking skills, so if you’re a science geek, you could walk away with a high score.
What About Scores?
The SAT assesses the correct answer from each section of the test you take. It’s scored out of a total of 1600 with various sub-scores throughout. It deducts one-quarter of a point each time you answer wrong.
With the ACT, you get an average rating from each of the test’s subject sections. The highest score you can get is 36. This test only grades your score based on the questions you get correct and there is no ding for picking the wrong answer.
Which One Do You Need for College Admission?
All high schools offer these tests, and some may require that you take them regardless if you plan on attending college. Most post-secondary schools accept both the ACT and SAT, but you need to confirm that with the college admissions office of your choice.
The SAT and ACT are both important tests that could have lasting impacts on your future. There are subtle differences in each exam, so it’s up to you to evaluate your options. You can also take both tests if you want. No matter what you choose, be prepared with a practice test and get plenty of rest before you take it. Good luck!
~Here’s to Your Success!
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