ACT or SAT -Which One Is Better?

ACT or SAT? The ACT SAT question often poses confusion for those applying for colleges. Both ACT SAT have common objectives, of getting you through admissions to colleges. Your decision to take the ACT SAT depends on the scores that the college accepts. ACT SAT scores are accepted by colleges; some accept ACT scores whereas other colleges accept SAT scores. The ACT SAT tests are different but hinge on different modes of measurement. The ACT is considered as an achievement test, while the SAT is considered as an aptitude test. For example, SAT tests your ability in Critical Reasoning, Writing, and Math; whereas ACT tests all that you have learned in school. This article compares both the tests and provides important information that will help you to decide the test to take based on your forte.


The SAT has changed in format over the years but still remains a popular choice among students for its wide acceptability in colleges. The current format of SAT includes the Critical Reasoning, Math, and Writing an Essay sections. The SAT lasts for three hours and 45 minutes. The Critical reasoning section tests your ability to think critically. It requires you to use your knowledge of vocabulary in the Sentence Correction and Passage Reading sections. You also have more time to answer the questions based on the passage compared to ACT which allows you less time overall to answer questions. The essay writing section is a mandatory part of SAT. It tests your ability to communicate your thoughts using good vocabulary. You cannot guess the answers in this test; you must be sure of the choice of answer you make. This is because SAT has negative scoring; marks are deducted for incorrect answers. Overall, SAT is a test of aptitude that checks your ability to think, reason through the given choices and answer questions. Thus, you need to have a critical bent of mind to be able to score high in this test.


Contrary to SAT, ACT is a test of achievement. The questions are framed around school syllabi, most of which you might have already studied. The subjects tested are Math, English, Science, Reading and Writing. The writing test is optional. The duration of the test is two hours, 55 minutes. The writing test is allotted an extra 30 minutes. The test is an endurance test because the questions outnumber the time given for the test. There are no marks deducted in this test. The reasoning is limited to the Science section. The knowledge component is more and you need to work hard in order to crack this test with high scores. This is because you need to cover all the portions of the subjects to be able to answer questions.


The choice between ACT SAT need not be difficult. You can select any test based on your aptitude to appear for the test. It is necessary that you choose a test that will allow you to use your strengths rather than try for something that is tough for you. Check what works for you; identify whether you are skilled at reasoning or at cramming information because both exams test different skills. ACT is more diverse because of its subject matter. For example, the Math section includes more topics such as Trigonometry, which SAT does not include. The ACT requires you to be well-versed in English grammar whereas SAT emphasizes on the vocabulary aspect. ACT tests your knowledge on Science whereas it is not included in SAT. Between the ACT SAT debate lies individual choice. While SAT tests reasoning, ACT tests content knowledge and preparing for either exam requires equal effort. It is more important that you check with the colleges whether they accept ACT SAT scores and decide accordingly the best test for yourself.

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