Did you know that there's an alternative option to the SAT for college admissions testing? Here's 10 reasons why we suggest giving the ACT a try:
(1) More US high school students took the ACT in 2016. 2,090,342 ACT test-takers; 1,681,134 SAT test-takers.
(2) The SAT & ACT are viewed as equals by admissions officers. UPenn Admissions: "No preference is given to the SAT or the ACT. If an applicant submits both tests, we will pay attention to the higher score from either test."
(3) Potentially eliminate the need to take SAT Subject Tests; many colleges accept the ACT in place of SAT Subject Tests.
(4) Scoring System - The ACT has a "friendlier" scoring system than the SAT that gives you more room for error. Performing poorly in one section doesn't necessarily sink your overall score.
SAT score = the sum of Math and Reading/Writing sections (400-1600)
ACT score = the average of English, Math, Reading, and Science sections (1-36)
(5) The phrasing of ACT questions tends to be more direct and straightforward than the SAT. Sample Questions -
SAT: What is your view of the claim that something unsuccessful can still have some value?
ACT: In your view, should high schools become more tolerant of cheating?
(6) Biotech Students ACE the ACT
(7) The ACT includes a Science section; the SAT does not.
(8) Math section - The ACT has more Algebra II/Trig & less Geometry than the SAT. You can also use a calculator for every math section (the SAT has a non-calculator section)
(9) Multiple choice - While the SAT has student produced response (grid-in) sections, the ACT does not. Meaning that aside from the Writing section, every question on the ACT provides answer choices for you to select from.
(10) And most importantly for current juniors ... taking the ACT is an "insurance policy" to protect yourself against the issues with the new SAT. See: Why your new SAT score is not as strong as you think it is.
Learn more about the ACT:
- 2016-17 Preparation Booklet (paper copies available in Guidance)
- SAT/ACT Concordance Chart
- SAT vs. ACT Infographic
- Is the ACT Easier Than the SAT?