Guidance for SAT and ACT Prep

Simultaneous Prep for ACT and SAT

Both the tests are admission tests for college entry in the US. Originally, people in the northwest took up the ACT and students in the northeast, west and east coast of the US took up the SAT. The difference in the test was only the geographical location. But today, both the test scores are accepted by most of the universities. Some colleges require you to take up a particular test. The test you have to take up will be mentioned by them.


The biggest dilemma students face is whether to take up SAT or ACT. The tests also differ in the content and types of questions asked. It is best to choose a test that tests your strengths. Many of the students prepare for both the tests. The preparation process is not difficult. It is also a good idea to prepare for both the tests together.


In ACT, the questions are straight forward and it tests the principles you have learnt. On the other hand, SAT tests the understanding and applications of the learnt principles and here the questions are not straight forward. There are three sections in the SAT - Math, Critical Reading and Writing. In ACT, there are 4 sections - English, Reading, Math and Science. An optional Essay Writing section is also there. Another important difference is that there is no negative marking in ACT and there is a quarter point penalty for wrong answers in SAT.


Preparation can be done together since both the tests evaluate what the student has learned at the high school level. The preparation strategy is different for the two tests. There are a few institutes that offer coaching for both the tests.

Kaplan Test Prep -

Kaplan Test Prep offers coaching for both the tests separately as well. The course, "College Prep Advantage" is priced at $999. It offers coaching for SAT, PSAT and ACT. The course is for 45 hours. 18 hours are allotted for SAT and ACT classes and 9 hours for PSAT classes. They administer 4 practice tests each for SAT and ACT and 2 for PSAT. This is very useful and beneficial.

Think Tango World-

"Think Tango World" offers parallel preparation for both the tests. The course offers 58 lessons. Each lesson is for 2 hours. A unique program has been charted for the preparation of the tests together. This approach benefits students while taking up the test. All the sections and question types are covered for both the tests. This is an online course and therefore is available 24x7. You can take up the lesson anytime you want from anywhere. The course is designed for one year and the fee is $1990. You can also take up the course on a monthly basis with 5 lessons in one month. The cost of this is $199 per month. If you want to take up only practice tests, you can enroll for the SAT+ ACT Practice Test Package. It costs $199 with 2 tests and 2 review sessions.

Preparation can be done simultaneously even without joining a course. You can do this by buying one book for each of the tests. Study the concepts thoroughly. This will help you in answering any type of question. Practice as many mock tests as possible. Practice both the tests alternately. This type of preparation is also very useful. Since the concepts, principles and applications have been studied by you in school, all that you need to do to get a good score in SAT or ACT, is to practice and time your tests.