While SAT VS ACT is an ongoing debate, it is like comparing apples to oranges. At a glance, the two tests aren't that different but have slightly different formats. You must ultimately opt for format you feel more comfortable with.
Let’s examine two in detail and look at the main differences:
- While SAT is an aptitude test, ACT is curriculum –based exam. Consistently good academic performers would prefer ACT as it would be on the lines of the tests they have been taking in their schools. SAT, on the other hand, is will appeal to the aspirants who have good reasoning skills and thrive on challenges.
- ACT has a wider syllabus that includes Math, English, Reading, Science and an optional writing test whereas SAT is centres around Mathematics, critical reasoning and written English test only.
- When it comes to predictability, difficulty and understanding the questions, ACT is easier to comprehend in the very first glance while SAT questions may not be straight forward and require some brain racking.
- If you are not the one who burnt the midnight oil mastering your concepts in science, you are better off taking SAT as ACT has a mandatory science section.
- Both SAT and ACT has math section but again there is the difference. ACT includes complex concepts. You will be given formulae at the beginning in SAT which is not the case with ACT. Extensive syllabus does not imply that ACT math is tougher than SAT. If you’re more comfortable with algebra than you are with geometry and trigonometry, SAT Math will likely be easier for you than ACT Math will be.
- ACT requires you to memorize much content and, therefore, necessitates a strong memory recall, SAT, on the other hand, requires you to be able to think on your feet and crack the test strategies.
ACT presents a holistic picture of your capabilities and SAT gives an insight into your individual strengths. Deciding between the two is more to do with your individual fortes and inclinations as both carry same weightage as far as admission committee is concerned.