Comparing the SAT and ACT Tests

Comparing the SAT and ACT Tests Teaching Staff

The ACT and SAT tests are standardized tests for high school students which tests their readiness to enter the college. Recently, many colleges have started accepting both SAT and ACT. This option can sometimes be difficult for students who are unsure of which test is best for them. In this blog, we will compare the differences between both the SAT and ACT tests in an effort to help students determine which option is best for them.

Content vs. Problem Solving

Even though both ACT and SAT are organized for similar purposes, there are many differences between the actual tests. ACT is a content based test. It tests a student on the common core curriculum. On the other hand SAT is a critical thinking and problem solving test. SAT tests students on their test taking skills. Another major difference between SAT and ACT is that the ACT tests science reasoning while the SAT does not.

Testing and Penalties

As the ACT is a more content based test, the science and reasoning section is also tested. The SAT has a guessing penalty while ACT does not. This shows that SAT requires the students to have certain test taking skills as well.

SAT maths tests student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills. Whereas ACT problems are more content based. Also ACT math section includes trigonometry as well, but SAT has only four sections; number and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurement, and data analysis and probability. Along with multiple choice questions, SAT also has grid-in math questions. In this aspect SAT and ACT differs.

Language tests for both SAT and ACT also differs. SAT focuses on English vocabulary more than ACT. However ACT tests English grammar, which is not explicitly seen in SAT test.

These are the few differences between SAT and ACT. Depending on students area of strength and weakness, a student can perform better on one test over the other. Keeping these differences in mind choose a test that best matches your skills and strength.