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We have broken down the main differences between the SAT and ACT, such as which one requires an essay, which one has more of an emphasis on science and math, and which one admissions officers look at more closely.
Most colleges accept both the SAT and the ACT, but how do you know which test is best for you? It may be practical to take both and find out, but there are some key differences that might help you determine which test is right for you:
* The ACT has a science section, which the SAT does not, and tests more advanced math concepts.
* The SAT focuses more on vocabulary than the ACT.
* The essay portion of the ACT is optional, whereas a 25-minute essay is required on the SAT.
* The ACT tackles English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning, each in large chunks of time. The SAT, on the other hand, splits up the Math, Writing, and Critical Reading sections into ten smaller amounts of time.
* College admissions officers look at how you score on each section of the SAT, but will only look at the overall score of the ACT, which could be beneficial if you do poorly on one section.
Finally, it is important to note that standardized tests are not the most important part of your transcript. High school grades are the best predictor of college success; thus, high grades are valued over high test scores. Do not let your grades slip, and if you struggled with your grades early on in high school, work to improve them so that colleges will see that you are a hard worker.