ACT vs. SAT: Which test is a better fit for you?
You may take whichever test you prefer (assuming there are available testing locations for both tests). If you’re not sure which test you would prefer, consider the key differences between the ACT and SAT.
- The ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities.
- The ACT has up to five components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test. The SAT has only three components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test.
- The SAT includes a mandatory writing test, while the ACT has an optional writing test. You take the ACT Writing Test only if required by the college(s) you’re applying to.
- The SAT takes off points for wrong answers. The ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing.
For more information regarding the two admissions tests, check out the following links:
- The Princeton Review – The SAT vs. the ACT
- Kaplan – Should You Take the ACT or SAT?
- Peterson’s – Test Prep: Choosing the ACT or SAT
The ACT and the College Board (makers of the SAT) have completed a concordance study that is designed to examine the relationship between ACT and SAT scores. These concordance tables do not equate scores, but rather provide a tool for finding comparable scores.