The ACT vs SAT: Which Standardized Test is Best for you?

Posted On 08.05.2015 | Parents FAQ

While it is important to consider the structural differences between the SAT and the ACT, students should consider which of the two standardized tests best suits their personal level of comfort with the two different test-taking styles and materials covered by either exam. Take a couple of minutes to go through the following questions to determine which standardized test may be best for you.


  What best describes you? Yes/No
1. You enjoy solving long word problems in math.  
2. You enjoy analyzing graphs and interpreting information.  
3. You have a strong vocabulary foundation.  
4. You feel comfortable memorizing rules and formulas for math.  
5. You generally enjoy reading.  
6. You have taken advanced math courses such as trigonometry and pre-calculus.  
7. You are a strong writer; you are comfortable writing essays.  
8. You have a strong foundation in English grammar and punctuation  
9. You like to switch between different tracts after short periods of focus on an individual topic.  
10. You do not have trouble searching for specific words and phrases in passages.  
11. You prefer working at a slower, steadier pace.  
12. You enjoy working at a fast pace.  
  • If you answered ‘YES’ to more of the odd-numbered questions, you should consider the SAT!

You love to read! As a result of years of reading, you have developed a strong understanding of vocabulary. You also have confidence writing essays as well as reading a variety of passages. Your reading strengths also help you through lengthy, wordy math problems that can overwhelm some of your peers. However, you do not have the strongest math skills, having not taken trigonometry or pre-calculus. You like to work through tests more slowly and carefully, trying to make sure that you get as many correct answers as you can rather than trying to answer as many questions as you can. You do not mind switching between different skill levels and shorter sections as it keeps your mind active!

  • If you answered ‘YES’ to more of the even-numbered questions, you should consider the ACT!

You have a lot of confidence in math having experience in more advanced classes including trigonometry and pre-calculus. You may not have the strongest vocabulary base. Perhaps you do not feel as confident writing essays, but you enjoy data analysis and interpretation. You like to move at a fast pace. While you may not dislike moving from topic to topic, you like moving forward knowing that you have completed a math, grammar, or reading section and won’t have to see it again throughout the remainder of the exam!