Everything You Need to Know About The ACT/SAT

Everything You Need to Know About The ACT/SAT

Let’s Breakdown the ACT/SAT

For Juniors college is right along the corner, meaning everything needed to fill a college application is starting to accumulate. One of the main components of the college application is the ACT or the SAT. One of the questions that many Juniors have is which test is the best to take? What is the difference? How many components are there? Take notes Sophomores and Freshman, you will need this information soon.

The ACT and SAT are actually not as different as many people make it out to be. The following is a table that will make it easy to visualize the differences.


     Now that you know the basics between the two tests, the hard part comes in: choosing which test you are going to take. The following are key differences to keep in mind when you are deciding and hopefully make the correct choice.
ONE: Do You Hate Time Crunches?

     The first question to ask yourself is, do you work well under time crunches? If the answer is no then you might want to consider the SAT. On average, the SAT offers more time per question than the ACT does. It can be seen in the following visual.

TWO: Are You a Science Whiz?

     If the answer is no, then you might want to look more into the SAT. The ACT does have a section dedicated to science that will account for a fourth of your total score. The science involved is mostly scientific data, graphs, and hypothesis. However, the SAT does test on scientific concepts such as analyzing graphs/tables, but it does not just have a section devoted to it.


THREE: How Much Do You Love Math?     Both tests love any kind of math especially algebra but in retrospect, they love different kinds of math. The ACT loves trigonometry, geometry, and the concepts of matrices, graphs of trig functions, and logarithms. While the SAT loves algebra and data analysis.

     Another thing to keep in mind, the ACT does not give you a formula chart but the SAT does. Meaning you might have to memorize all the potential formulas relating to trigonometry and geometry for the ACT.

     Also, think about the importance of math. In the ACT, the math section accounts for a fourth of your final score while on the SAT, the math section accounts for half of your total score! If math is one of your strongest suits then the SAT is for you.

     On the bright side, the ACT only has multiple choice while the SAT does include some grid in questions!


FOUR: Are You Up for Writing an Essay?

     On both the ACT and SAT, the essay component is optional; however, what you must write about differs depending on whether you’re taking the SAT or ACT. On the SAT you will read and analyze another author’s argument and form an essay using evidence and reasoning. In other words, you will not include your own opinion. The ACT, on the other hand, you will read a short passage about an issue and then analyze the different perspectives on this issue so you will get to include your opinion!