SAT or ACT?
February 26, 2013
By Jacob Brunette
As spring rolls around, juniors start to think about college and with that, they start asking themselves questions about standardized tests, specifically the SAT and ACT. Almost every college accepts scores from either test, so the choice really comes down to personal preference. How do you decide?
At first glance, it seems that the SAT would be the easier test to take, at least for those students who have difficulty with math and science; unlike the ACT, the SAT has no science section, and the math section does not cover trigonometry. However, the SAT has a reputation for having less straightforward questions than the ACT, so the lack of trigonometry does not mean the math section is necessarily easier.
The reading and writing sections are also noticeably different on each test, with the most obvious dissimilarity being the required essay on the SAT. Poor writers may wish to take the ACT if they want to avoid a timed write. There are other differences as well: The SAT focuses more on vocabulary in the reading section than the ACT does, providing a better fit for prolific readers.
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule for choosing which test to take. Students can only make an educated guess and hope to do the best they can.