The difference between SAT and ACT scores can be confusing, especially if you aren’t clear on which schools prefer which tests. The SAT score was once the recognizable test of the Northeast, and was the primary test of the west coast schools. The ACT test was more a test of the Midwestern schools. This is no longer the case.
Due to many educational changes, schools all over the country are now able to accept either test scores for their application. This can be good news. Each test is designed to show the strengths of students in different ways. While some students feel that taking both tests will give them a strong advantage for their college application process, if you understand which tests will represent you the best, you’ll be able to make a good choice.
Science and reasoning skills are assessed in the ACT test. For math skills, the ACT test also offers trigonometry questions. The ACT test does not have what is known as the ‘guessing penalty’. This can prove to be highly advantageous for those questionable answers. Additionally, grammar skills are well showcased in the ACT test.
SAT lacks science and reasoning skills. If you have really strong vocabulary skills, the SAT will show them off well. The ACT test is multiple choice all the way through, while the SAT is more than just multiple choice.
For those with strengths in fact memorization, content knowledge and information use, the ACT test may be the more appropriate choice. For a student with strong critical thinking skills, SAT scores can be the way to go.
The scoring system used for both tests is very different. The illustriously sought perfect score on the SAT is a full 1600, while 1000 is considered to be average. The ACT test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. The average score falls somewhere along the scoring scale of 17 to 23. The ACT offers a more complete scoring system, with sub scores in each section so that strengths and weaknesses are highlighted.
1. SAT was once for schools on the coasts and the Northeastern schools.
2. ACT was once specifically for the middle state schools.
3. ACT offers trigonometry skill sets.
4. There is no guessing penalty for the ACT test.
5. Science and reasoning skills are highlighted in ACT tests.
6. ACT showcases grammar.
7. SAT acknowledges extensive vocabulary skills.
8. SAT is not limited to only multiple choice questions.
9. 1600 is the highest possible score for SAT tests.
10. 36 is the highest possible score for ACT tests.