SAT or the ACT?
What’s the Difference? ACT vs. SAT
Are you facing the registration deadlines, feeling pressured to choose, and wondering which is better? Relax! The reality is that neither test is superior to the other. Although there is no hard science proving that the ACT or the SAT is easier, you probably want to determine which test format is better suited to your strengths. Each test has different emphases and familiarity with their individual structures may help you sort out which is better suited to you.
About the ACT The ACT sports four trademark multiple-choice subject tests covering English, Math, Reading, and Science. These are designed to evaluate your overall educational development and your ability to complete college-level work. You’ll have 2 hours and 55 minutes of dedicated test time to complete the subject tests, not including breaks. As far as scoring goes, your subject test scores (ranging from 1 to 36) are determined after throwing out any incorrect answers — only correct responses count! The four areas are then averaged together to come up with your overall, or composite, score. The ACT includes an optional 30-minute writing test that you should definitely include. NC schools will not accept your ACT score in place of your SAT score if you take the ACT without the writing section
About the SAT In contrast to the ACT, the SAT is designed to evaluate your general thinking and problem-solving abilities. It begins with a required 25-minute essay. This is the start to the Writing section, which you’ll complete in addition to the Critical Reading and Math sections. The SAT differs from the ACT in terms of the amount of time you’ll have to complete it (3 hours and 5 minutes) and the format in which you provide your answers. Similar to the ACT, the SAT has multiple-choice areas, but it also has a part in the Math section where you’ll be required produce your answers — no chance of guessing from a set of choices here! And unlike the ACT, the SAT doles out a slight penalty for wrong answers on the multiple choice questions (but not on the student-produced ones). Both tests allow ample time for completion. The SAT has fewer questions — 140 compared to the 215 on the ACT. The SAT also focuses heavily on vocabulary, while the ACT hones in on grammar and punctuation.
It all depends on you The vast majority of students perform comparably on both tests. If you want to put your efforts towards preparing for only one of the tests, your best bet is to take a few practice exams. There are free and low-cost practice exams available electronically and in-print. If you’re undecided about which test to take, you may feel more strongly about one or the other once you become familiar with the format of both. You can then evaluate your test performance before heading off for the real thing. Source: The Princeton Review
Additional fees apply if you register late or make changes to your test type, center or date after registering.