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School Counseling - ACT vs. SAT

Last Updated: 6/12/2020 12:59 PM
ACT vs. SAT
 
Today, students have the opportunity to take two types of college admissions tests - the ACT or the SAT.  Most colleges accept both tests for admissions, but you should check with the college admissions office to be sure which test they prefer.

 

What are the differences between the two tests? 
 

THE ACT

The ACT test is made up of four individual tests, each of which is designed to measure academic achievement in a major area:  English, mathematics, reading, and natural sciences.  The test is about three hours long and consists of a total 215 scored questions.  The ACT website includes information on the test as well as practice questions and tests.

The test is comprised of four subject tests:

Section

Number of Questions

Time Limit

English

75

45 minutes

Math

60

60 minutes

Reading

40

35 minutes

Science Reasoning

40

35 minutes

 

THE SAT

The SAT is three hours to complete without the essay and three hours and fifty minutes to complete with the essay.  The below chart displays the sections you will see on test day (but not necessarily in the following order).  For more information, please visit the SAT section the College board website.

 

Section

Number of Questions

Time Limit

     

Writing & Language

44 questions

35 minutes

     
     

Critical Reading

52 questions

1 hour and 5 minutes
     

Math

58 questions

1 hour and 20 minutes

     

Link to article from Magoosh that explains the ins and outs for the SAT and ACT.

 

Click here for upcoming test dates for the 2019-2020 school year.