Many students hear the acronyms SAT and ACT, yet they are not aware of differences and similarities between the two assessments. The SAT test measures reasoning and critical thinking skills and is comprised of 3 components: writing, reading, and mathematics. The writing section requires an essay to be written in addition to editing grammatical errors. The reading section includes multiple choice questions on comprehension and sentence completion. The math section tests arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and algebra II concepts through multiple choice and open ended responses. The ACT test on the other hand, measures the knowledge of subject matter and is comprised of 4 components: English, mathematics, reading, and science. Writing is an optional component inclusive of writing an essay. The English section assesses usage/mechanics and rhetoric skills through multiple choice questions. Mathematics is also assessed using multiple choice questions on the topics of geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. The reading section covers comprehension of fiction, social studies, humanities, and natural science passages. Lastly, the science section includes science-based passages and the interpretation of data.
While there are similarities and differences between both tests, understanding the tests is beneficial and essential to succeed on the test. It allows you to better prepare for the test and for there to be no surprises the day of the exam. This helps decrease test anxiety and gives you a clear, prepared, mentality when taking the test that you will be sending off to your top school choice. It also allows you to choose which test would be the best fit for you in order to ensure your success on the test.
Blog submitted by Meredith Mathers, Team Tutor Test Prep Specialist
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