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What is the Difference between SAT and ACT?


The notion that between SAT vs ACT that one is easier than the other is not true. In some key areas (no guessing penalty, essay optional, charts/graphs, vocab, and grammar in context) the SAT has moved closer to the ACT test but the mantra of the SAT test remains somewhat unchanged. It is a critical thinking test. Those students who might have chosen the old SAT would still be making a good choice with the new SAT test. They might even have an easier time considering that the essay is now optional and the guessing penalty is gone. These two things may not make the content easier but will certainly make the test less draining and stress-inducing. It is important to remember that both tests have their pros and cons, and find what is best suited to you.

Our Advice for SAT vs ACT

Our general advice would be to take an ACT test and SAT test sample paper. See which test is easier for you and then decide.


Critical Reading. Math (up to Geometry), WritingScience, Math (up to trigonometry) Reading, English
Reasoning basedCurriculum-based
No penalty for wrong answersNo penalty for guessing
Math grid insAll Multiple choice questions
Basic fee $ 102Basic fee $ 61
Essay writing is not mandatoryEssay writing is optional (add $15.50)
A perfect score is 1600A perfect score is 36
The greater emphasis is on vocabularyLess emphasis on vocabulary
Scores on individual sections, particularly Critical Reading and Math are looked atThe composite score is looked at rather than scores on individual sections
Offered 6 times a yearOffered 5 times a year (plus writing only 4 times)
Testing time is 3 hrs 50 minThe testing time is 2 hrs 55 min. Plus 30 min optional writing test
The test fee includes score reporting to 4 colleges. Time until 9 days after the test to update the choice of collegesThe test fee includes score reporting to 4 colleges. Colleges to be chosen at the time of registering


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