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01/07/2016

Should You Take the SAT or ACT?

Most universities will accept either the SAT or the ACT, and you get to choose which one you will take. Neither is necessarily easier, harder, or better than the other. It depends on your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Here are some of the key differences between the two tests to help you decide which is best for you.

ACT Has Straight-Forward Questions

The SAT is full of reasoning questions that make you think, while the ACT is more like the tests you receive in school. There is some debate about how different the questions actually are, but the reputation is that ACT questions are more direct and easy to understand.

Random Vocabulary Questions

The SAT has a bunch of "do you know this random word" questions, whereas the ACT is entirely passage based. While the ACT may contain some "meaning in context" questions, it is nowhere near as vocabulary-intensive as the SAT.

No Science on the SAT

The ACT has a Science section, which the SAT does not. It is not a test of your knowledge of scientific facts but of your scientific reading and reasoning abilities. If the scientific method is one of your strong points, you may be well suited for the ACT.

Math on Both Tests

The SAT tests your math skills in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. The ACT also includes trigonometry, so the ACT math section has some more advanced questions. This does not mean that the ACT math section is harder, because many students find the questions to be more straightforward than the SAT.

The ACT Essay

The ACT essay is optional, while it is required for the SAT. Check with the colleges of your choice. The ACT essay may be optional for the test administrators, but it may not be optional for your college admissions officers.

SAT Has Multiple Sections

The SAT is broken up into ten sections, starting with the essay, then rotating through math, reading, and writing sections. Alternatively, the ACT takes each subject area in chunks with the optional writing test at the end. If you are comfortable moving between subject areas in short stints, you should consider the SAT. If you do better focusing on one subject at a time, the ACT may be better for you.

For Tutoring in Hillsborough, NJ

If you need extra help to prepare for either the SAT or ACT, contact The Tutoring Center in Hillsborough. We offer one-to-one tutoring programs in test preparation, math, reading, writing, and more. Call 610-442-8753 today to schedule a free diagnostic assessment.  

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