Admissions Tests: SAT or ACT?



By Rajkamal Rao  

Some students take the SAT. Others take the ACT.  What should you do?

Before we answer this question, let's understand that these two tests have many things in common but at their core, are two very different tests.  The SAT is more suited for liberal arts oriented students who are strong in reading and writing; the ACT is better suited for students who are strong in math and science.

SAT
More time per question
Tricky questions
Nine short sections, plus essay
Experimental section
No trigonometry
No science section

ACT
Less time per question
Straight forward questions
Four long sections, plus essay
No experimental section
Trigonometry questions
Science section

Top colleges like to see academic strength overall, so our advice is that students should take both tests.  The chart below shows that this indeed is the trend.





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