Which Test Is Better to Take: The ACT or SAT?

Should You Take the ACT or the SAT?


One of the steps students take in preparation apply to colleges is taking either the SAT or ACT. Both exams are factored into college acceptance decisions. Scores on either exam can even be used to determine merit-based scholarships. If you’re on the fence about whether you should take the SAT, ACT, or both, here are a few reasons for each option that might steer you in the right direction.

Reasons to take the SAT

  • You don’t feel as confident when it comes to science
  • If you’re stronger at reading comprehension
  • If you’re stronger in algebra than trigonometry and geometry
  • If you’re better at literary analysis rather than arguing a case for an essay

Reasons to take the ACT

  • You find ease in science reasoning and math
  • You’re allowed to use a calculator during the math section
  • You’re stronger at analyzing and evaluating complex issues
  • You’re stronger at geometry and trigonometry than algebra


Reasons to take both

  • You might get a better score on one exam than the other
  • Taking one exam might prepare you for the other
  • Provides more information to the schools you’re applying to
  • Both include similar math concepts
  • Both essay sections are optional
  • You don’t lose points for incorrect answers for both exams

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