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09/08/2019

What are the main differences of the ACT and the SAT?

QUESTION
What are the main differences of the ACT and the SAT?
I know that the ACT is for your state colleges and SAT is basically for out of state colleges. By my aunt bought me a Kaplan SAT study book, but i am planning to stay in my state for college. What are the test differences.. like is sat harder than act or are they generally the same question wise? Is it okay if i study out of the sat for the act?

ANSWER
The ACT test is actually quite different than the SAT. First of all, they’re administered by different companies and they are given on different test dates (e.g. this year, the SAT was on October 1st while the ACT is going to be administered on October 22nd.) Thus, to register for SAT, you do it on collegeboard and the ACT is on another website (which I believe is ACT.org but I don’t remember).

The SAT has three main components: Reading, Math, and Writing(includes an essay).

The ACT has four main components: English(mostly grammar questions), Math, Reading (reading comprehension), and Science- and that’s only for ACT WITHOUT writing. ACT WITH writing includes all of that PLUS an essay. To decide which ACT test to take- check the colleges you are going to apply to – most colleges though usually require ACT with writing as a substitution for the SAT.

However, don’t think that the SAT is easier than the ACT because of the components- it’s different for everybody. Some think that the SAT is easier than ACT and vice versa. It really depends on you. I would suggest taking both if you have the time.

I would suggest you NOT to study the ACT through an SAT study book. They are VERY different tests (as shown above). If you want to take the ACT, buy an ACT study guide- Princeton Review is a great book and there are others…Kaplan, Barrons….

The SAT separates their test into 10 sections either reading, math, or writing…..it’s random except for the first section, which is ALWAYS writing (the essay). So, you might get Writing, math, math, reading, reading, reading, writing, math…etc OR writing, math, reading, math, reading…..etc….

Basically, it’s random. However, the ACT is more predictable. It is ALWAYS english, math, reading, science , then writing (if you are taking writing, of course) – in that order- check any study guide and they will say they same thing.

Basically it’s up to you to take whichever test you want, depends on the college you’re applying and if you’re not sure which school to apply to —> you can always take both if you have time.

Hope this helps!