Which one: ACT or SAT?
One common deciding factor that helps students choose between taking the ACT versus the SAT is stamina. Though the two tests are almost the same duration (ACT is 3h 35m and the SAT 3h 50min both with the optional essay), the ACT has 4 sections whereas the SAT has only 3 sections (not counting the optional essay sections). However, two of the ACT’s sections (reading and science) are 35 minutes long with 60 questions each. This gives about 53 seconds for each question, which means that students have to have a lot of focus in a very short amount of time causing quicker fatigue. Some students enjoy the ACT because of this reason as they are able to get done with the test “quicker.” However, the SAT has much more “tricks” with grid-in problems that the ACT does not have.
Overall, the best way to figure out which test to take is to take a SAT and ACT diagnostic test to determine which test the student scored better in and their preference. Take a diagnostic ASAP as early preparation is tantamount to an amazing score!
*Note: The ACT’s science section is mainly about analyzing and interpreting data–not pure science questions!