SAT or ACT: Which Test to Take?

Type of Test

SAT: Aptitude test

          Test your reasoning and verbal abilities, and what you learned in school

ACT: Achievement test

         Tests you on what you have learned in school


Test Length

SAT: 3 hours and 45 minutes

ACT: 3 hours and 25 minutes



SAT: Penalty

ACT: No Penalty



SAT: Not optional

          Is the first part of the exam

ACT: Optional but colleges require it so take it anyways!

           Is the last part of the exam



SAT: Math, Critical Reading, Writing, Essay

          200-800 per section

          600-2400 composite

          500 per section college ready target

ACT: Math, Critical Reading, English. Science

          1-36 per section

          1-36 Compostite

          21-25 average college ready range


Test Style

SAT: Tricky questions that can be difficult to decipher

ACT: Straightforward questions that may be long, but are usually less diffi-cult


Question Difficulty Levels

 SAT: Questions get more difficult as they progress

          Reading questions follow the passage chronologically but many vary in difficulty

ACT: More constant level of difficulty, but do not follow a progressive pat-tern


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