Choosing Between the SAT and ACT

June 09, 2014

Having trouble choosing between the SAT and the ACT? Beau Ritkes is a rising junior in high school and is starting ACT classes this summer.  How did he learn that he prefers the ACT? He simply took both.

Most people will tell you to take the PSAT or comparable diagnostic tests for the SAT and ACT to see which is a better fit for the individual. My thought was, “Why take a diagnostic when I could just take the real thing?” By facing the endurance challenge that a real SAT offers, you can have the real experience that a practice test would not provide. The PSAT is still a beneficial test that I suggest taking, but when deciding between SAT and ACT, it should not be the only source of information. It is best to use your own test scores when deciding which test to take. 

Once you get your both test scores back, compare them. I made an algebraic equation of my composite ACT score over 36, then cross multiplied it by x (the variable SAT score that would be equivalent to a my ACT score) over 2400. I found that I would need significantly higher on the SAT then what I got to be equivalent to my ACT score.  For this reason, I found taking the tests to be a really helpful indicator of which test to pursue.

In my opinion, students should just sign up for both of these tests. It is the best first step to take in your college admissions testing journey.

 



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bwill
Williams ‘19


Accepted to Williams, Claremont (CMC), Amherst, Swarthmore, Pitzer, Northwestern, Tufts, WashU, Grinnell, Rice, Emory, LMU

Hi! I'm an incoming sophomore transfer at Williams who's passionate about technology, STEM education, social justice, and design. I've learned a thing or two after navigating this hectic process twice now, and would love to help guide others through it!
elewal
Brown ‘20


Accepted to Brown, Cornell, CMU, Wesleyan, William & Mary, Case, Villanova, Binghamton, RPI, WPI

Hi! I'm a sophomore at Brown University studying Biochemistry and English. I love writing, baking, hiking, and music.
tngreen55593
Georgetown ‘20


Accepted to Georgetown, UT Austin, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Richmond, Pepperdine

A hard worker that is living the dream.
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Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Stanford, MIT, GA Tech

STEM outreach enthusiast. Poet. Programmer. Advocate for women in STEM.

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