SAT vs ACT: Which Test is Right for You?


Are you confused about taking SAT or ACT tests for your study abroad? Here is the complete guide to help you choose the right test for you.
Before jumping to the deciding point, have a clear idea about both the tests, SAT and ACT.

SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test

SAT is a standardized test that is recognized by most universities and colleges all over the world. Even though the SAT test is owned, developed by a non-profitable organization in the United States of America, the test is being accepted in almost all countries.

ACT – American College Testing

American College Testing is an entrance test for undergraduates for admission to colleges and Universities. Unlike the SAT, ACT is taken by lesser students when compared to SAT.

[Read more: How to Read Faster and Comprehend better in SAT Reading Test? 5 Quick Tips]

As a part of deciding which test needs to be taken, here is the comparison of SAT and ACT on several aspects:

1. Test Structure of SAT Vs ACT:

SAT: SAT is 3 hours long test with a total of 154 questions and has sections as Reading, Writing & Language, and Math.

ACT: ACT test is a 2 hour 55 minutes test without essay and 45 minutes extra with essay. It has a total of 215 questions and sections like English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, and Essay (Optional).

2. Section-wise Questions of SAT Vs ACT:

SAT and ACT tests have similar kinds of sections and questions too. They differ in the number of questions and the pattern.

SAT: Questions in SAT are more straightforward. Even though the questions are long, they are easy to comprehend. Here are section-wise questions in SAT.

Reading – 52 questions

Writing & Language – 44 questions

Math – 58 questions

ACT: Questions in the ACT a more evidence-based and a little tricky when compared to SAT. Here are the section-wise questions in the ACT.

            Reading – 40 questions

            English – 75 questions

            Math – 60 questions

  Science – 40 questions

3. Use of Calculator in SAT Vs ACT:

Usage of calculator is restricted to only a few questions in the SAT Math section. But there are absolutely no restrictions for ACT on the usage of a calculator.

4. Exam fees for SAT Vs ACT:

SAT: SAT registration fee is approx $55. For international students, non-U.S region fees will be added to the exam fees. And it may vary for each country. For Indians, it will be $49 making it a total of $104. In INR it will be approx Rs. 7773.74 for SAT Registration.

ACT: The ACT registration fee will be around $46-$58. If the essay is chosen, the registration fee will be around $60 – $93 for International students. In INR, it will be approx Rs.6000-7500.

5. Scoring scale for SAT Vs ACT:

SAT exam will be scored on the scale of 400-1600 and a good score in SAT will be 1400 – 1500.
ACT exam will be scored on the scale of 1-36 and a good score in the ACT will be 31-35.

[Read more: 7 Tips to Improve your SAT Reading Score]

SAT Vs ACT, Which test is right for you?

• Both ACT and SATs are accepted by the universities for admission. So, it is the student’s choice to choose one among those. It is not true that most universities accept only SAT. ACT is also equally accepted.

• As both ACT and SAT serve the same purposes at an equal level of importance, it is wiser to go with the test where the candidates can perform better.

• Math is one section that will be felt tough in any kind of test on the planet. In the ACT, the Math section is a mix of both hard and easy questions. Whereas SAT Math section is easy. Even calculators are not allowed for some questions, there will not be any requirement to remember all the formulas.

• If the test taker is comfortable with multi-level problem-solving questions and high-level English grammar, he/she can opt for the ACT.

• Candidates with an average knowledge of English, and not interested in typical math and science questions can choose SAT over the ACT as it is easy to score more in SAT tests.

• We suggest SAT, because

-> Less complex questions
-> Less exam time than ACT
-> Easy to comprehend
-> A medium level of English knowledge is sufficient.
-> Easier than other tests.
-> Essay is optional
-> 50 minutes for Essay Writing.

Hope this comparison between SAT and ACT is helpful. For personalized training, check out our exclusive SAT coaching sessions.