SAT vs. ACT


How do the tests compare?

SAT ACT
How often is it given?
Seven times per year
Six times per year
What is the test structure?
Four-section exam: One Reading Comprehension section, one Writing/Language section and two Math sections, one of which prohibits calculators.
Four-section exam: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning.  An experimental section is assess to tests on certain dates only, and is clearly experimental.
What is the test content?
Math: up to trigonometry.
Reading: sentence completions, short and long critical reading passages, reading comprehension.

Language/Writing: stresses grammar, sentence structure, sentence completion, etc.
Writing: an essay, and questions testing grammar, usage, and word choice.

Math: up to trigonometry.
Science: charts, experiments.
Reading: four passages, one each of Prose Fiction, Social Science, Humanities, and Natural Science.
English: stresses grammar.
Is there a penalty for wrong answers?
No No
How is the test scored?
200-800 per section, added together for a combined score. A 1600 is the highest possible combined score.
1-36 for each subject, averaged for a composite score. A 36 is the highest possible composite score.
Are all scores sent to schools?
No. There is a “Score Choice” option.  Students can choose which schools will receive their scores AND which scores the schools will see.
No. There is a “Score Choice” option.  Students can choose which schools will receive their scores AND which scores the schools will see.
Are there other uses for the exams?
Scholarship purposes, this also applies for the PSAT and the National Merit Scholarship.
Scholarship purposes. Certain statewide testing programs.
Best time to register?
At least six weeks before the test date.
At least four weeks before the test date.
Website
CollegeBoard.com
ACTStudent.org

How do you compare scores?

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