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What is the difference between ACT and SAT TEst?

Should you take both or just one to get into a good college. Does the ACT test mean that you don’t have to take the SAT subjects tests??? Thanks

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SAT subject tests are still required regardless of whether or not you take the ACT or SAT. However, you can take the SAT and get away without having to take the ACT and vice-versa. Taking one of the two is required though along with the SAT subject tests depending on the college of your choice. The SAT has a math, writing, and critical reading section as well as an essay and is based on a 2400 scale. The ACT tests you in English, mathematics, reading, and science and the optional Writing Test measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. However, the ACT is based on a 36 point scale. Some prefer the ACT because vocabulary is not a big of an issue as it is pertained to be on the SAT. Another benefit is that when taking the ACT, you can pick and choose your best scores and send it to your desired colleges if you ever decide to retake the ACT. With the SAT, every score you receive is sent out to the colleges of your choice to look at.

The SAT and ACT are two different tests that colleges use to admit students. Most colleges accept either/or and will only use the better score between the two if you take both. The two tests are different, and you may be better suited for one than the other.

The ACT is not a replacement for the SAT II subject tests. If the school you are applying to requires SAT II tests, you have to take them.


Some colleges accept the ACT for SAT II Subject Test requirements–you have to check each one’s policy on the school website.

I’d recommend you take both. They’re vastly different tests–so you may score a bit higher on the one that suits your ability.


5 years ago
It’s not a stupid question. The SAT and ACT are two different college admissions exams with different scoring systems and different question-asking methodologies, but the process of taking the tests is pretty similar. It’s standardized test taking at its finest; I’m sure you’ve already been through it in your studies, it’s just for higher stakes with these two tests. When you decide where you want to go to college, check out which test they prefer. And, heck, lot of students just suck it up and take both tests (I did).

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