High School and College

SAT vs ACT

As a junior, you should definitely take the SAT or ACT. Below, are the main differences as well as tips I suggest after taking both tests. This infographic is a helpful tool as well!

SAT

  • There are five test sections: reading, writing and language, two types of math sections, and a surprise section.
  • The highest score possible is 1600. No points are deducted for guessing so if you realize you’re short on time, do so! It won’t hurt your score but, it may help it!
  • The reading includes passages related to science and history. You have 65 minutes to answer 52 comprehension questions.
  • In the writing and language section, you have 35 minutes to answer 44 questions. This consists of editing and choosing the best word choice for the designated line.
  • There is a section allowing calculators in the math section and another where it isn’t allowed. You have 25 minutes and 20 questions for the no calculator section and 55 minutes for 38 questions with the calculator. The beginning of the section includes a reference or formula sheet.
  • The writing section is optional. Check your colleges and see if they require it.
  • When registering, buying the answer sheet guide is always a plus to know the type of question you missed per section and the level of difficulty.
  • Use this website for a full list of test dates, deadlines, and score publication from now till 2018.

ACT

  • There are six sections: English, math, reading, science, and a surprise part.
  • The highest score possible is a 36. No points are deducted for guessing so if you realize you’re short on time, do so! It won’t hurt your score but, it may help it!
  • For the English section, you have 45 minutes for 75 questions. This consists of similar skills in the SAT.
  • The reading incorporates some history passages. There are 35 minutes to finish 40 questions.
  • The math (which is with the calculator) allows 60 minutes for 60 questions.
  • The science is based more on comprehending passages and graphs allowing 35 minutes for 40 questions.
  • The writing section is optional. Check your colleges and see if they require it.
  • When registering, buying the answer sheet guide is always a plus to know the type of question you missed per section and the level of difficulty.
  • Use this website for a full list of test dates, deadlines, and score publication from now till 2018.

So, which is better?

No one can tell you which to take or which test you will do better on. That’s why you should take both standardized tests to know which you feel is easier and compare your results. This website converts ACT scores to SAT and vice versa to help you differentiate which you do better on!

Tips:

  • Bring water and a quick, easy, and non-messy snack.
  • Find a tutor for the test you want to take.
  • Get a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast.
  • Drive to your testing location the day before, so you know what to expect, where to go, and how much time it takes to get there.
  • Be on time. If you’re late, you won’t be allowed in!
  • Wear comfortable clothing and bring a jacket! You never know how cold the proctor will keep the room.
  • Charge your calculator the night before and bring extra pencils!
  • Bring a watch without sound. This way, if the proctor doesn’t announce the amount of time left, you can keep track of it yourself.
  • For the ACT since a formula sheet isn’t given, I suggest memorizing some basic ones.
  • The SAT College Board book is a beneficial tool!

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