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A Comparison of the ACT® & SAT®

— August 19, 2020

In the United States, most students take either the ACT or SAT before applying to a college or university. The ACT is scored between 1-36 and includes sections on English, math, reading, and science, and the SAT is scored between 400-1600 and includes sections on reading, writing and language, and math.

Both the ACT and SAT offer essay tests that are optional and scored separately. When deciding whether to take the ACT or SAT, take time to figure out your strengths and which test best matches those strengths. For example:

  • Math makes up 50% of the SAT® score but only 25% of the ACT® score.
  • The ACT® features a science section, but the SAT® does not.
  • The SAT® tests more vocabulary knowledge.
  • Math on the ACT® covers more higher-level skills including geometry and trigonometry. Math on the SAT® covers more algebra.
  • If you struggle with timed tests, the SAT® allows you more time to answer per question than the ACT®.
What is the best test option for you? Graphic courtesy of author.
What is the best test option for you? Graphic courtesy of author.

We encourage you to click on the graphic above to see the rest of the story and choose the test that is best for you. Our thanks to UWorld for allowing us to share this with you.

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