ACT vs SAT: Ultimate Guide for 2021
One of the hardest periods a teenager could experience is probably his or her high school life. It is when you have to start thinking about your future – what course you want to take, where you want to study, and what your career plans would be ten to twenty years from now. But in order to get into college, you have to take an ACT or SAT. What is SAT vs ACT? Should I take the SAT or ACT? This article will help you understand what these tests are all about, enable you to decide which test is best suited for you, and know what’s the difference between the ACT and SAT.
ACT vs SAT: Main Differences
ACT versus SAT: If you are a high school student and you are planning to go to a college or university, then you have to take either the ACT or SAT. What is SAT and ACT – ACT stands for American College Test while SAT means Scholastic Assessment Test. These are standardized tests that serve as an extensive assessment and covers the majority of what you have learned throughout your time in high school. Technically, these are the most important tests a high school student will take since these are a major requirement to attend college. You might think that the ACT and SAT tests are the same, but no, they’re not. You can compare them since there’s a difference between them.
Comparing the SAT and ACT is easy. So, what is the difference between the ACT and the SAT? The difference between the ACT and SAT is that the SAT is a skill test that is focused more on problem-solving or reasoning abilities while the ACT is more on curriculum-based examination that covers everything you have learned in high school. The comparison doesn’t end here since there are more differences between the two. An ACT and SAT comparison chart would be helpful to easily determine the difference between the tests.
The ACT vs. SAT differences can be known and understood with a comparison chart. What is different between the SAT and ACT in difficulty level? Below is a comparison to see how is ACT different from SAT.
ACT vs SAT Difference / SAT vs ACT Comparison
|Math||· Very long yet short amount of time|
· 60 minutes = 60 math problems
|· Not too difficult but tricky|
· Basic algebra yet confusing questions
|Reading||· Reading without vocabulary|
· Long passages with around 10 questions each
· Uses common sense
|· Not that hard|
· 15 vocabulary problems
· Ranges from long, medium, and short passages
|Writing||· Essay writing|
· 30 minutes to finish
· Specific question yet broad to write
· Essay, 25 minutes to finish
· Broad topic
· Multiple choice that tests on grammar and proper usage of English
· Uses common sense and grammar
|Science||· Interpret charts, graphs, and conclusions|
· Similar to the reading section
· 35 minutes = 7 passages with 40 questions
So, which is better ACT or SAT? The ACT reading vs SAT reading shows that reading is easier in the ACT. In SAT vs ACT math, the second one is easier, too. What is the difference between the SAT and ACT tests? The differences between them can be minor, and it somehow shows that the ACT is easier than the SAT. Should I take both ACT and SAT? Still undecided? Keep on reading below.
Now that you know the basic information about what is ACT and SAT and the primary difference between them, then it’s time to know more about ACT and SAT tests. Since the differences have already been mentioned, you can now take the ACT or SAT. ACT vs SAT which is better? Before deciding, make some research first on whether the college you’re interested in requires the SAT or ACT, or both.
If you have questions in your mind like which test should I take the ACT or SAT, which test is better ACT or SAT, is the ACT better than the SAT, is it better to take the SAT or ACT, or which is more important SAT or ACT, then here’s a little tip for you – the SAT is more widely accepted.
Another difference between the ACT and SAT comparison is the scoring method. The ACT assigns a score between 1 and 36 for each section, the average of section scores is the final score and has no penalty for incorrect answers whereas the SAT is graded additive with a total score of 2400 and subtract a quarter of a raw score point. Since these comparisons show a huge difference in the scoring method, the equivalency chart is needed to translate your score in SAT to ACT and vice versa. Should you take the SAT and ACT exams, you must know and understand your scores and send them to the right schools. The SAT ACT concordance Magoosh is the perfect tool to convert your scores and serve as an equivalency chart.
Here’s a sample of ACT vs SAT comparison of scores that show the equivalency. If you want to compare the scores, make sure that you use the legit and standard equivalents to prevent any errors. Keep in mind that there’s a new scores comparison too.
ACT vs SAT / ACT and SAT Equivalent
ACT vs New SAT
This ACT-SAT equivalency table is the best tool to convert your scores. It will help you identify what schools are going to accept your application based on your total. The equivalency is widely used and is the standard measure.
When to Take the ACT and SAT Exams?
After knowing what is better, now is the time to learn when to take the exams. The best time when to take the ACT and SAT is during your junior year since it gives you more time to look for universities or scholarship programs that will best fit your preference. Taking the test earlier than that can also put you at a disadvantage since a lot of topics weren’t tackled yet. Should I take the ACT or SAT, keep in mind that they are both given seven times every year.
So, what are the SAT and ACT examination months?
- SAT – March or April, May, June, August, October, November, December
- ACT – February April, June, July, September, October, December
Which is better SAT or ACT in terms of testing periods? It depends on your preferred time. Take note that some states require the test as part of their state testing regulations and are not given on the national test dates.
What are the ACT and SAT deadlines for registration?
- SAT – Four weeks before the test date
- ACT – Five to six weeks before the test date
Can I Take Both the SAT and the ACT?
Is the SAT better than the ACT, another point to think about is should I take both the ACT and SAT? Yes, you can take both exams, but it still depends on different factors. This time, how is the ACT different from the SAT? What’s the difference between these exams in terms of costs? The SAT costs approximately $45 while the ACT costs $32. So, the SAT or ACT? In comparison, the first one is the better choice.
What is the difference between the ACT and SAT when you take the exam? The difference between these exams is that during the latter, you are allowed to eat some snacks during your break while the former does not. If you need some sugar in your system then opt for the SAT. If you have the money and time, then take both exams. However, since you already know the differences, just figure out what colleges you’re eager to get into and see which test they need.
If you want to apply to a few colleges in different areas, or simply unsure which one you want to apply for, it is best to take both as well. Since they convert the scores in a standardized way, don’t forget to check their equivalency chart including for the new SAT or ACT.
Benefits of Taking Both ACT and SAT
Should I take the SAT and ACT, would there be benefits? The answer is both yes and no. Some of the benefits would be as follows:
- Preparing yourself for either the ACT or SAT can help you be ready on the other as well. So if you are studying for the first one, you can also do well on the second one. (If you want to see the actual differences between the ACT and SAT by yourself, it’s best to take them both.)
- Since you studied well for your test, it allows you to excel in your chosen course and motivate you to do better in your future career.
- Even though SAT is more recognized by universities, some may recognize your capability and skills when they see both of your scores. The ACT to SAT equivalent would be helpful in this situation. (Once you’ve experienced what is the difference between SAT and ACT, you can share it with the next exam takers and help them with some tips.)
- There might be pressure when it comes to the ACT test vs SAT, but if you take both exams it’ll give you more date options to select from.
Still, some might say that there’s no benefit when you take both exams. Since there’s only a little difference, you can consider them both as they may serve as IQ tests. Remember that colleges and universities will require either of the two and not both. But, if you enough money to spare, then take both exams by all means.
SAT or ACT – Which is Easier?
What is the difference between the SAT and ACT in terms of difficulty level? When you compare them, the first thing that comes to your mind would be which test is easier. To know what’s the difference between them, the comparison chart would be helpful just like what is shown above. Between the ACT reading vs ACT reading, it shows the first one is easier than the second one. And the SAT math vs ACT math in the chart also shows ACT is easier, too. However, when you research more regarding the difference, students and mentors have different answers to that since it will really depend on the exam taker.
What’s the difference between these exams? Is the ACT easier than the SAT? Yes, because you can always guess your answers and be sure not to leave any question unanswered. Is the SAT easier than the ACT or is the SAT harder than the ACT? Well, opposite to what advisers would say, the SAT is actually a bit easier than the ACT. If you are to take one of these tests and want to ace the test, be sure to prepare for it and study well.
ACT vs SAT: Which Test is Right for You
Now that you’ve seen a glimpse of the comparison chart and which is easier, the question for you will now be are which is better to take, should I take one of them, or should I take both? The answer is it will depend on your preference and your choice of college. Another difference between them is the length of the exams. These tests have different allotted time to answer each exam.
- SAT – 3 hours and 45 minutes with 3 short breaks in between
- ACT – 2 hours and 55 minutes (3 hours and 25 minutes if you take the optional writing test)
What is the SAT and ACT number of questions? This will be another factor whether is one of them easier. If you are a student who always struggles with time pressure, the SAT will be the better fit for you since it only has 140 questions while the ACT consists of 215. So, which is better based on your gender? They say that boys will more likely do better on the SAT than girls, while girls do better on the ACT than boys. But, of course, it won’t always be the case. Should you take both after knowing the comparisons, be sure to take it early so you’ll still have time to retake it if you wish to gain a higher test score.
Should you take the SAT or ACT, take note of your future career. When applying for a job, experience and credentials would be convenient. A lot of employers show interest in the applicants’ SAT scores since it measures your intelligence and reasoning skills. If you wish to take either of the tests, be familiar with the equivalents, chart, and ACT equivalent to the new SAT and have your goal set and be able to impress your potential boss in the future.
Who Accepts ACT/SAT Scores
Is SAT or ACT better when it comes to an acceptance rate of colleges? Do colleges prefer the SAT or ACT? Generally speaking, it depends on geography. The colleges and universities in the East and West coast rely more upon the SAT, while those in Middle America prefer the ACT. It also depends on you if you want to study within your area or if you’re willing to relocate to another state.
Studying for tests is important if you want to get into a prestigious and competitive school. One of these tests would be a good basis to get in since if you don’t have good equivalents, then you most likely won’t make the first cut.
US Scholarship: Which is Mostly Recognized?
What’s the difference between the SAT and ACT when it comes to applying for a scholarship program? Should I take the ACT or SAT and pick only one or should I take both? Between these tests, most colleges and universities accept either exam, but those who have enough time to prepare can take both and just submit whichever test they achieve better scores.
But sometimes, between these tests, other universities recommend taking the SAT. When to take the ACT and SAT? The earliest SAT schedule for 2020 is on August 29th while the ACT is on September 12th.
The Best Prep for ACT
Since there’s a difference between these tests that are also seen through a comparison chart, then you have to prepare for it differently. How is the ACT different than the SAT when it comes to preparation? Differences in math show that ACT is easier in the comparison chart. You have to study and master basic algebra and trigonometry in order to pass this test. The comparison also show that reading is easier in ACT, so you just have to practice yourself reading long passages in order to have enough time in answering the questions
Another difference is that when you prepare for an upcoming ACT test, you could always go online to watch ACT related videos or enroll yourself in an online course. You can study anytime, anywhere.
The Best Prep for SAT
Which test is harder? Well, it will really depend on how much time you allotted to study and prepare for it, and if you excel in that particular subject in school. If you want to ace the SAT test then you have to prepare yourself in writing clear and concise essays. In terms of reading, you have to practice yourself to analyze what you read, and for math, you have to challenge yourself in answering different math topics such as algebra, trigonometry, and geometry.
There are also SAT 1 vs SAT 2. Although these tests are commonly compared, it’s also nice to know the difference between the other two. Practically, SAT 1 tests the ability of the student when it comes to their written, verbal, and general math skills, while SAT 2 measures their knowledge on a specific topic. Technically it can also be called SAT vs SAT subject tests.
What is the difference between the abovementioned tests – differences can be minor, but they’re surely essential to be able to enter college and jump start your future career. Make sure that you prepare ahead, read a lot, review previous lessons, take your existing classes seriously, take a test prep course before your test, and complete a practice exam. These steps will definitely help you achieve a great score and give you a chance for a brighter future.