You must know this already, but Let’s break it down anyways.
SAT: The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. The test is administered by the College Board and measures a student’s readiness for college. It consists of four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (with calculator), and Math (without calculator). The Reading and Writing and Language sections test a student’s reading comprehension, writing skills, and grammar. The Math sections test a student’s mathematical skills and knowledge. The SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600 and is generally taken by high school juniors and seniors. Many colleges and universities require SAT scores as part of their admissions process.
ACT: The ACT (American College Testing) is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. The test is administered by the ACT organization and measures a student’s readiness for college. It consists of four sections: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science, with an optional Writing section. The English section tests a student’s grammar and writing skills, the Mathematics section tests a student’s mathematical skills and knowledge, the Reading section tests a student’s reading comprehension, and the Science section tests a student’s ability to interpret scientific data and graphs. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36, with the composite score being an average of the four sections. The ACT is generally taken by high school juniors and seniors, and many colleges and universities require ACT scores as part of their admissions process.
Now let’s see the most common myths about both these tests:
Students are required to take both the SAT and ACT to apply to college.
No, students are not required to take both the SAT and ACT to apply to college. Most colleges and universities accept either the SAT or ACT as part of the application process. Some students may choose to take both tests and submit their highest score, but it is not necessary. It’s important for students to research the admission requirements of the colleges they are interested in and determine which test or tests they need to take. Some colleges may also offer test-optional or test-flexible policies, where standardized test scores are not required or are considered optional.
Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. —John Wooden
Colleges prefer SAT over the ACT or vice versa.
Generally, colleges do not prefer one test over the other, as both the SAT and ACT are accepted by most colleges and universities in the United States. Colleges typically use the test scores as just one of many factors in the admissions process, along with other factors such as high school grades, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations.
That being said, there may be some regional or institutional preferences for one test over the other. Some colleges in the Midwest and South may have historically preferred the ACT, while colleges on the East and West Coasts may have preferred the SAT. However, in recent years, these regional differences have become less pronounced.
It’s important for students to research the admission requirements of the colleges they are interested in and determine which test or tests they need to take. Some colleges may also make the standardized test scores optional so look out for that!
If you don’t know the answer to a question, leave it blank.
Don’t do this! The penalty for guessing or answering a question incorrectly has been removed on both tests. This means that you can earn points for correct answers, and you will not be penalized for incorrect or unanswered questions. It is highly recommended that you make an educated guess and fill in a bubble for every question, rather than leaving questions blank. While random guesses may not be the best approach, making an educated guess by eliminating one or more answer choices can increase your chances of selecting the correct answer and earning points.
The ACT is easier than the SAT (or vice versa)
It is difficult to say whether the ACT is easier than the SAT, or vice versa, as each test has a slightly different format and emphasis.
The ACT has more questions in a shorter amount of time than the SAT, which means that test-takers need to work quickly and efficiently. The SAT, on the other hand, has fewer questions with more time per question, so test-takers may have more time to think through each question.
The content covered in the tests is also slightly different. The ACT Math section covers more advanced topics, such as trigonometry, while the SAT Math section includes more algebra and data analysis. The ACT Science section includes charts and graphs to interpret, while the SAT Reading section focuses on analyzing texts and passages.
In the end, which test is easier for a particular student will depend on their individual strengths and weaknesses, and their personal testing preferences. It’s important for students to research the admission requirements of the colleges they are interested in and determine which test or tests they need to take, and then choose the test that they feel more comfortable with and can perform best on.
The entire college application depends on the SAT score.
No, the entire college application does not depend solely on the SAT/ACT score. While standardized test scores such as the SAT/ACT are an important component of the college application, they are just one part of a larger picture. Admissions committees typically review a range of factors, such as high school grades, extracurricular activities, essays, recommendations, and other factors to assess a student’s overall qualifications and potential.
In recent years, many colleges and universities have adopted a holistic admissions approach, which means that they consider multiple factors in the application process and do not rely solely on test scores. Some colleges have even become test-optional, which means that they do not require standardized test scores at all.
It’s important for students to approach the college application process with a well-rounded approach, focusing on all aspects of their application and demonstrating their strengths in different areas. While the SAT/ACT is an important factor, it is not the only one and should not be the sole focus of the application.
Test prep books don’t work or help in anyway.
No, SAT and ACT test prep books definitely work. Test prep books can be a useful tool for students preparing for the SAT or ACT. These books typically provide practice tests, tips and strategies, and explanations of the types of questions that appear on the test. They can help students become familiar with the format of the test and identify areas where they may need additional practice or support.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that test prep books are just one tool among many that students can use to prepare for the SAT or ACT. Other resources may include online practice tests, tutoring, and classroom instruction. It’s also important for students to have realistic expectations and understand that improvement takes time and consistent effort.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of test prep books will depend on the individual student and their learning style. Some students may find that these books are helpful, while others may prefer other methods of test preparation. It’s important for students to find the approach that works best for them and stick to a plan that includes regular practice and review.
There is no room for improvement for my reading score.
No, that’s not true. While it can be difficult to see significant increases in scores on standardized tests, there is almost always some room for improvement.
One approach to improving your SAT or ACT Reading score is to identify your weaknesses and focus on specific areas for improvement. For example, if you struggle with time management, you might practice reading passages more quickly or develop strategies for quickly identifying the main idea of a passage. If you struggle with understanding complex vocabulary, you might work on building your vocabulary through reading and studying root words and word origins.
In addition to identifying specific areas for improvement, it’s important to approach test preparation with a consistent and strategic plan. This might include regular practice with reading passages and questions, working with a tutor or teacher, or using online resources and practice tests. With dedicated effort and a strategic approach, it is possible to see improvements in your SAT or ACT Reading score.
You can wait till your senior year to take the SAT’s.
While it is possible to wait until your senior year to take the SAT and ACT, it is generally not recommended. Most students take the SAT and/or ACT during their junior year of high school or earlier, in order to leave time to retake the test if necessary or to submit scores to colleges and universities in a timely manner.
Taking the SAT and/or ACT early in high school can also be beneficial because it allows students to identify areas where they may need additional support or practice. This gives students more time to work on improving their skills and preparing for the test, rather than feeling rushed or overwhelmed in their senior year.
In addition, many colleges and universities have application deadlines that fall early in the fall of a student’s senior year, before many students have even taken the SAT or ACT. Waiting until the senior year to take the test could limit a student’s options in terms of college admissions and financial aid opportunities.
For these reasons, it is generally recommended that students take the SAT and/or ACT during their junior year of high school, or earlier if possible. This allows for ample time to prepare and retake the test if necessary, and to meet college application deadlines.
We hope this blog has cleared out any doubts. Don’t fall for these myths!