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Which is the Best Choice in ACT or SAT?

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Learn about Which is the Best Choice in ACT or SAT?. Read this blog, you will find all the essential information that you require. 

Is it better to take the ACT or the SAT? Which is the better option for me?

Even though I teach writing, many students come to me with this problem, and I want to give them the best answer I can. Robin was in agreement with me! She describes the key differences between the ACT and the SAT below, as well as what to consider when deciding which test to take and when not to.

The ACT versus the SAT: which is better for you?

Whether or not to continue their education after high school is one of the many decisions that high school juniors and seniors must make. And, if they decide to attend college, they will have to make “the BIG decision,” as the adage goes.

So, how do you choose which one to start with? The typical “reading, writing, and arithmetic” notion was put to the test in both cases. They look to be very similar at first glance. After all, they’re both aptitude examinations with national standards. In fact, the essay section of both the SAT and the ACT is fully optional and does not affect your overall score. Both exams evaluate reading comprehension as well as problem-solving abilities. College success necessitates the development of certain skills. Remember, college admissions officers utilize this exam to determine whether or not a student is prepared to enter college. There is no advantage to taking one exam over the other because both are accepted by all institutions and universities in the United States. However, there are significant differences between each exam that will help you decide which one to focus on. It’s often a case of assessing your benefits and drawbacks before deciding which path to choose. We’ll look at how those aspects affect your choice of the exam.

As a starting point, consider the sections of each exam.

There’s also an optional Essay section, however, the ACT calls it “Writing” and the SAT calls it “Writing.” So, these are the topics that will be discussed on the exam. Let’s take a look at how they stack up.

Exam time has been provided.

The passage of time is the first distinction we’ll look at. The ACT gives you 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete the exam (excluding the Writing part). Three hours of study time is allotted for the SAT. Examine how 5 minutes may make a major effect, even if you don’t believe it will at first.

The number 215 in the center should be the first thing that comes to mind when you look at this. That’s quite a number of inquiries! Do you remember those five more minutes? To be precise, it’s on the SAT, not the ACT. True, the ACT is known for allowing students to answer more questions in less time. BUT, before you hurry out and register for the SAT, read the following.


Is it correct that the ACT has a “science” section, whereas the SAT does not appear to have one? That isn’t entirely correct. The SAT includes science in the reading component, which is where it belongs. If you’re reading a book about science, you’ll come across a line that explains how DNA is made. The paragraph will provide visual assistance in addition to the text. The SAT includes questions about understanding scientific concepts and graph analysis, among other things. You’ll find the science you’re looking for on the ACT. Questions about interpreting experimental data and comparing variables within the same experimental design will be asked. This will come as a nice surprise to individuals who are avid scientific buffs.


The ACT math test is a standardized exam.

While Algebra is the most essential subject on both exams, the ACT adds a few new concepts and places a stronger emphasis on specific themes. On both examinations, geometry problems are asked; however, the ACT math sections have about 40% geometry questions on average. That’s four times as much information as the SAT provides. On the ACT, trigonometry accounts for 7% of the total score, which is around 2% more than the SAT. Questions on matrices, trigonometric functions, and logarithms are also included. In addition, the ACT answers are entirely multiple-choice questions. There will be no parts where you can fill in the blanks. Despite the lack of illustrations for arithmetic formulas, you are allowed to use your calculator throughout the whole mathematics section.

Math on the SAT is a difficult subject.

Again, Algebra is the topic that will account for the majority of the math portion. The SAT provides you with a variety of geometry diagrams to study. You will be able to avoid memorizing formulas as a result of this. However, you must be able to alter those mathematical calculations. More geometry (10% against 40%), less trigonometry (5% versus 7%), no logs or matrices, but you have an entire section when you don’t have to use your calculator at all. There are also grid-in responses in this area. You will not be able to just choose one of the test’s multiple-choice answers. This subject accounts for 13% of the total SAT math score.


While reading and writing may appear to be the same thing, there is a subtle difference. The questions on the SAT are presented in chronological order, which means they appear in the same order as the passage. This is not true for the ACT, where one of the final questions may ask you about the paragraph’s beginning, but it is true for the SAT. For some people, this can be unnerving.

An essay’s composition (optional)

Despite the fact that it is listed as optional and many schools do not require it, it is recommended that you check your school’s requirements. The topic matter you will be writing about in your essays is the sole distinction between the two assessments. You will be given a text to read on the SAT and asked to analyze it. You’ll examine the author’s argument and dissect it into its component elements. It will not be your viewpoint. When taking the ACT, you’ll be asked to read a short passage and then give YOUR opinion on the many viewpoints on the subject stated in the passage. If you enjoy delving into the finer points of a passage, the SAT essay will be your best shot for a high score. The ACT, on the other hand, maybe a better fit for your personality if you thrive at comparing and contrasting different points of view.

Which one is your favorite?

As I indicated at the outset, you should think about your own unique abilities. If you excel at language arts but struggle with arithmetic, you should consider taking the ACT. Just keep in mind that you only have so much time. You should take the SAT if you are confident in your arithmetic skills and “okay” in language arts. When studying for this exam, keep in mind how much more weight the math section will have on your overall grade. Take a practice exam for each of the alternatives to test your knowledge. Yes, it will take some time, but it will help you relax when the time comes to make a final decision. I wish you the very best of luck!

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