All four-year U.S. colleges accept both tests. Which one you take is a matter of personal preference, and the only way to know which is a better fit for your particular abilities and skill-sets is to take a timed, full-length practice test of each and evaluate the experience.  For comparison’s sake:

*  The tests are both about the same length and the essays are optional. I suggest staying and writing the essay as you’re already there and some colleges require it.

*  You have more time to answer each question on the SAT and the difference is pretty significant -about 20 seconds more per question.

* The College Board is partnered with Khan Academy and offers over four thousand questions with video lessons. There is not yet a similar platform for the ACT.

The SAT has a more limited range of focus, especially on its two Math sections. I believe that many students –especially those without any familiarity with Common Core instruction-will find these sections more complex and more challenging than the ACT Math section.

There is a No Calculator section on theSAT. This could spell trouble for students who rely heavily on them for even basic calculations.

The ACT has a Science section while the SAT just has a few charts and graphs tacked on to its Reading section. If the prospect of an entire science-based section is overwhelming, you might want to lean towards the SAT.


SAT or ACT: Break it Down