The ACT and SAT are created by The College Board - the people who create the heartbreaking AP exams - and The ACT, respectively. These exams test your knowledge obtained in grade school overall, but the scores do not define you. Many colleges use scores for admission, but colleges also take in account of GPA, activities on-school/after-school and more to determine if you are granted admission. Not everyone is a good test taker and that is okay.
The ACT has more areas like science and social studies and does not rely on math or english that much, but rather reading.The breakdown for the ACT: a 35-minute reading test, 45-minute English test, 60-minute math section and 35-minute science test. The SAT is more math and english: grammar orientated. The breakdown for the SAT: 65 minutes reading test, a 35-minute writing and language test and an 80-minute math section. The math section in the SAT is divided in two: one with a calculator and another with no calculator. Both are timed around equal times but the cool thing is that there is no punishment for guessing on these tests. It is better to mark down an answer if you don’t have one since you have a ¼ chance of it being right.
The ACT and the SAT are both stressful since you are timed, for each question you have about 1 minute and sometimes second, but there are some strengths to both of the tests that might help you. I actually took the ACT in 7th grade and the PSAT in my 8-10 grade so I have taken these exams for the last 3-4 years. The PSAT is a smaller version of the SAT that many Americans take throughout high school. If you like the PSAT, then the SAT is the right choice for you. Additionally, the SAT may be your best bet if you are good at math or you could take the ACT if you are not math oriented and more of a science-based person. For either one, I recommend studying and taking practice tests a couple months before and not on the day of the test. Procrastination is not the key for trying to do well on your college admission tests.
You can decide which score to give your college if the first time wasn’t your best score. Both tests have essays but it is up to your future college if you need to take it. Plus you have resources to actually practice and prepare yourself. It is good to see how you do on a practice test to give you a heads up on your mistakes and problems before-hand.
Take time to pick your exam and maybe even take both to see for yourself if you just do not know. The differences allow for students to have different experiences with each exam like me. You got this!
Here are resources to practice the ACT and/or SAT.
319.337. 1270. ACT Helpline if you have more questions
1 (866) 630-9305. SAT Helpline if you have more questions
1 (800) 273-8439 Princeton Review. For help on both exams
Good luck and I believe in you! Chelsea XO