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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UChicago ‘18

Accepted to Duke, Brown, NYU, UChicago, UNC, East Carolina, NC State

I'm a class of 2018'er at UChicago studying Economics and Psychology! Super interested in start-ups and economics.
MIT ‘20

Accepted to MIT, UMich, Rutgers, Cornell, Rice, JHU

computer science / design / music / film
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Accepted to NYU, BU, Ohio State

Chicago-->Cincinnati-->New York City. Dancer. Rower. Volunteer. Future Teacher.
Williams ‘19

Accepted to Utah, Colorado, Colby, Williams, SMCVT

Hi! I go by Izi and I am a current student at Williams College Class of 2019. I hope to be a biology or sociology major with a neuroscience concentration. I am on the NCAA Division 1 alpine ski team here.

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