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ACT vs SAT: The Right Test for YOU

June 10, 2011 By: Category: College entrance exams, Get into College

As a general rule, universities will accept either of these exams, but how do you know which test is best for you?The ACT is a more curriculum-heavy test, which means that the scores on the ACT are more indicative of what a student has learned and actually knows. The SAT favors those students who have strong abilities to infer, controversially measuring a student’s “innate ability” to learn. There are numerous charts that claim to give accurate conversions, so one can take both tests (which I highly recommend) and convert their scores to see whether they will be within the same score range on each, or if they will score stronger on one test over the other. I prefer this table by the company that offers the ACT.

While there has been a big push by the tests to rival each other, I see no harm in looking at them as complementary exams. So much of the preparation for one can be applied to the other. The only exception is the ACT Science Section which finds no counterpart on the SAT. However, at the end of the day, this section is really just reading comprehension splashed with a lot of strong, science-based vocabulary. Once a student learns how to navigate the questions, the ACT is nothing more than an SAT in a different format.

And that’s where the question of ACT vs SAT really rests: Which style of test do you like more? They’re both roughly the same amount of time, yet the ACT is divided up into four critical sections (math, science, reading and english), whereas the SAT is divided into two sections (math and reading), plus a writing section. Which reminds me, always take the ACT Writing Section. No school will hold the writing against you, it’s great practice and many colleges do require it. So all in all, send whichever scores turn out best for you. But before you even start considering sending scores, assess your test-taking stamina and practice! The real question of the ACT vs SAT has more to do with YOU and less to do with tests.

Check out this other article on the ACT vs SAT and GOOD LUCK!


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