Preparing for College - SAT/ACT Prep
The major difference between the ACT and SAT is what the exams test. The SAT tests a student's aptitude, or their ability to perform. In comparison, the ACT looks at what subjects the student has learned in school. Each test has a different structure and covers different subjects. For instance, the ACT has a science section while the SAT does not. Both have a writing section, but the ACT writing section is optional.
The tests also have different scoring systems. The ACT only calculates scores based on the number of correct answers. The SAT deducts points for each wrong answer. In some cases, a student taking the SAT is better off leaving an answer they are unsure about blank, that way will not count for or against them.
Whether a student decides to take the SAT or ACT, they can find plenty of online resources to help them prepare for the test. Resources range from lists of tips to sample test questions. Some online resources help a student decide which test is the better fit for them. Students can decide to take both tests and send the higher school to the schools they apply to.
SAT Test Preparation and Tips
Free SAT Practice Test
A full practice test from the College Board, which manages the SAT in the United States. Students have the option of taking the sample test online or printing the test and taking it on paper. At the end of the test, students receive their scores. The score is calculated automatically if a student takes the test online. They can score the test themselves if they choose the paper option.
Test Prep: 9 Tips for SAT Success
A list of 9 tips from US News and World Reports for students considering taking the SAT. The tips cover all the bases, from deciding whether the SAT is the best test for the student, to what to worry about on the writing section.
ACT Test Preparation and Tips
Tips for Taking the Act
ACT, Inc., the company that administers the ACT, gives a list of simple and straightforward tips. Students can use the tips during the test itself.
4 Tips for Prepping for the SAT & ACT This Summer
Spark Notes blog shares four tips on how students can prepare themselves for success for the ACT.
Helpful hints for preparing for the ACT from Physics Classroom. The tips focus on the science section.
An online sample ACT. Students can choose to take the practice test in all of the subjects or they can choose to focus on only one or two subjects.
4 SAT Myths
The Princeton Review debunks four common myths about the test. Explaining the myths gives students a better idea of what to expect during the test.
ACT vs. SAT
An article from the NY Times that explains how schools viewed the tests in the past and how they are looked at now. It includes a quick list to help students decide which will work best for them.
ACT Test Breakdown
An article explaining the various components of the test. It tells students the percentage of the test each section takes up and how much time a student will have for each question during each section.
ACT Question of the Day
A new sample question from the ACT every day. Students can input and check their answers to the question. If they put in the wrong answer, they have a chance to go back and try again.