Featured Image

Should You Take the SAT or ACT? Take This Quiz First!

The eternal struggle amongst high schoolers: should you take the SAT or ACT?

The eternal struggle amongst high schoolers: should you take the SAT or ACT? Long story short, it doesn't really matter which one you take to colleges, but they are different tests, and one might fit you better than the other. That's why we put together a little quiz to help you choose! But first, we’re going to break down the differences between the SAT and ACT, so it doesn’t just sound like your counselors are throwing acronyms at you all year.

Hold up—what are they?

The SAT and ACT are standardized tests high school juniors and seniors (typically) take for college admittance. Colleges do not have a preference of which test you take, so that’s why it is imperative you know which test will help you show colleges you know your stuff!

Key differences between the SAT and ACT

  • The SAT just got a whole new make over, rolling out March 2016! (Here’s what’s changing.) The ACT is staying the same.
  • The SAT has three sections: Reading, Math, and (soon-to-be optional) Writing.
  • The ACT has five sections: Reading, Math, Science, English, and (optional) Writing.
  • The ACT has more challenging math questions than the SAT.
  • The SAT is accompanied by a formula sheet; the ACT is not, meaning you will have to memorize the formulas.
  • The ACT reading portion is more focused on grammar than the SAT.
  • The wording on the SAT is somewhat more sophisticated and eloquent than the ACT, which is generally considered to be more straightforward.
  • The ACT gives less time for the sections than the SAT, especially in the math portion. In the ACT, you have 60 minutes to answer 60 math questions.
  • The ACT costs $56.50 with the essay, $39.50 without. The SAT costs $54.50 with the essay, $43 without.
  • There are 7 test days for the SAT. There are 6 test days for the ACT.
  • The SAT has 154 questions. The ACT has 215 questions.

Should you take the SAT or ACT? Take our quiz!

Are you good at memorizing formulas?

  1. Umm, no.
  2. Yes! I’ve got the quadratic formula on lock!

Can you handle doing math for an hour straight?

  1. Hmm, I’ll get back to you on that one . . . *leaves*
  2. Sure!

So, trigonometry?

  1. TrigoNOmetry
  2. I’m all about that trig!

Are you good with analyzing scientific graphs and charts?

  1. NSM
  2. Heck, yeah! That’s my element.

How bountiful is your lexicon?

  1. Just gargantuan!
  2. Let’s stop with the big, fancy words.

From what you’ve read, which test do you think you’re best suited for?

  1. The SAT
  2. The ACT

Mostly 1’s: You’re probably more structured for the SAT!

Mostly 2’s: You’re probably more structured for the ACT!

But overall take the test you think you will do better on. The best way to do this is to take practice exams and compare your scores. Colleges are looking for the test that will get you your highest score!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
act admission tests choosing a test college admission sat standardized tests test prep

About Cathleen Freedman

Cathleen Freedman attends the High School of Performing and Visual Arts, where she is preparing in the best possible way for college. She would also have to say that writing in the third person is as fun as you might think it is.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Abhishek Kumar

Abhishek Kumar

High School Class of 2022

As a high schooler, I know how hard it is to plan for college. You have to consider a lot of factors: SAT/ACT scores, college searches, scholarships, and more. CollegeXpress has been a helpful resource that solves all these problems. One can easily create a free account and search away. They help you search for scholarships and colleges, they have graduate program search, they have lists and rankings, and so much more. CX also has a lot of articles and advice to read—whether it’s financial aid, test prep, campus visits, internships/careers, or anything. Not only that, CX gives out free scholarship money to students who sign up and create a free CX account. I love CX and will continue to use it! Thank you CollegeXpress for making my college journey easier!

Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.

Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

Farrah Macci

Farrah Macci

High School Class of 2016

CollegeXpress has helped me in many ways. For one, online searches are more organized and refined by filtering scholarships through by my personal and academic interests. Due to this, it has made searching for colleges and scholarships significantly less stressful. As a student, life can already get stressful pretty quickly. For me, it’s been helpful to utilize CollegeXpress since it keeps all of my searches and likes together, so I don’t have to branch out on multiple websites just to explore scholarship options.

Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

College Matches