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SAT vs ACT: What is the Difference?


SAT vs ACT What is the DifferenceGetting into college is a very important goal for many people. In order to attend college, all students must fulfill entrance requirements. The SAT and ACT tests are two tests used for entrance requirements. The following information will explain the difference between both entrance exams.

A Quick Overview of the SAT

The SAT was originally known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Now, it is known as the Scholastic Achievement Test. This test is offered to colleges through an organization known as the College Board. The test is the most popular type of entrance exam. Universities and colleges use this exam to figure out how a person was educated from kindergarten to high school. Many colleges will thoroughly evaluate this test to figure out if an applicant is a good fit for their university.

A Quick Overview of the ACT

The ACT was an acronym for American College Testing, but the acronym doesn’t have an official name. It is now just the ACT. According to the Princeton Review, the ACT is a college entrance exam. This entrance test is used a requirement for getting into different colleges. The ACT non-profit organization sponsors the ACT tests. It standardizes them or creates specific tests for various colleges around the country.

Each Test has a Different Focus

The Great College Values website states that the SAT focuses more on vocabulary and the ACT focuses a lot on science which it also uses to test reading and reasoning skills. This test also focuses on higher level math. So, the SAT wants to know how well people know the English language. The ACT is designed to gauge a person’s science and mathematical ability more so than their language aptitude and comprehension. You should also keep in mind that the SAT focuses on reasoning and logic. However, the ACT requires less writing and has a stronger focus on math.

The SAT is Longer Test than the ACT

The ACT might be more complex, but the SAT takes a longer time to complete. The ACT takes about 3 hours to complete. The SAT takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Both tests provide breaks. Students must complete the test within a given session.

Scoring Differences for Both Tests

Both tests use different criteria for scoring. The SAT scores from 600 to 2400 and the ACT scores from 1 to 36. Each test has different sections. Higher score will improve your chances of getting inside a university.

Universities and colleges might use both the SAT and the ACT for their entrance criteria. They will closely evaluate your test score and compare them against other students. Students should figure out which test to take that will provide them with the better results.


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