SAT vs ACT: Which One Do I Take?

Many  students have a hard time deciding whether to take the SAT or ACT.

Many students have a hard time deciding whether to take the SAT or ACT.

Jake Paz, Staff Writer

When the time comes to decide whether to take the SAT or the ACT, some students have no clue which one they should take, or if there is even a difference between the two tests. Both the SAT and ACT are nationwide college admission tests that colleges use to determine which students they would like to admit into their college. Deciding which one to take depends solely on the student’s particular academic strengths, varying between students.

The major difference between the tests is that the SAT is more vocabulary based, meaning students must know high-level vocabulary or they may be tricked by certain questions. One good thing about the SAT is that students are not penalized for wrong answers and are only tested in higher-level math which includes trigonometry and evidence-based reading and writing, with an optional essay. Some students say that the SAT is easier to prepare for since there are so many published study aides for the test and many resources available to help them do better. To learn more about the new SAT test click here.

The ACT, on the other hand, tests students on the exact same subjects, while including a science portion. Questions on the ACT are said to be more straight forward than those on the SAT. Students who are interested in science and are better in math are recommended to take the ACT. Many students find the ACT to be much easier than the SAT since unlike the SAT, colleges do not look at students’ scores for individual sections on the ACT, but rather look at their composite score. This allows students who do not score very high in one section to still manage to get a respectable composite score.

“I would prefer taking the ACT over the SAT since my tutor told me that the ACT has easier questions and I think it has easier math questions than the SAT, plus I love science so I think that I’ll do best on the ACT,” senior Maria Aguila said.

The only one who could answer the question of which test to take is the student themselves, since they are the only person truly knows what subjects they are best at. If a student is torn between the two, they should try to take both tests just to see which one they do better on and to make sure that they submit the best score to the colleges of their choice.