Because all US institutions accept ACT or SAT scores, choosing the exam you would do better is vital to your admission chances. However, it can be difficult to answer satisfactorily when parents and students question whether the ACT is more straightforward than the SAT.
You may not know how the exams compare to one another or which one you are more likely to perform well.
There are distinctions between the SAT and ACT that might genuinely make one or the other easier or more challenging for test-takers. So, how can you determine whether the SAT or ACT is more difficult for you? Continue reading to discover the crucial characteristics that will help you decide whether the ACT or SAT is easier.
Content-Related Abilities on the ACT and SAT: Six Factors
Before we go into specific content-related abilities, let’s go through the test structure.
The SAT has three sections:
Reading, Writing, and language (from now on Writing)
The ACT, on the other hand, is divided into four sections:
English, Mathematics, Reading Science
The ACT also includes an optional essay question. Each part is created differently on the ACT than on the SAT, although only a few of these distinctions are significant. Here are the essential elements to consider and our suggestion on what these may signal about which exam is easier for you.
How good are you at math?
While both the SAT and ACT prioritize algebra problems in their math parts, the ACT’s Math section often evaluates many mathematical ideas that the SAT does not cover, such as logarithms, graphs of trigonometric functions, and matrices.
The ACT also offers much more geometry and trigonometry problems than the SAT. A quarter to a third of the ACT’s Math portion questions will be about geometry or trigonometry, but fewer than 10% of the SAT’s math questions will be about either of these disciplines. More SAT Math questions will concentrate on algebra, data analysis, and modeling.
In addition to assessing a broader range of math topics, the ACT does not provide any math formulae at the start of the Math portion, so you must know them all. However, SAT delivers most of the essential arithmetic formulae you’ll need for the exam.
How confident are you without a Calculator?
Students cannot use a calculator for a portion of the SAT Math section. The SAT Math portion is divided into two parts: a No Calculator section (20 questions) and a Calculator section (20 questions) (38 questions). On the other hand, the ACT permits you to use a calculator for all math problems.
Every question on the SAT- No-Calculator part may be solved by hand; nevertheless, these questions may occasionally need complex calculations. If you aren’t comfortable answering these questions without using a calculator, this section of the SAT may be difficult for you.
Can you recall the location of specific details while reading passages?
The detailed questions on the Reading sections of each exam are often overlooked in determining whether the SAT or ACT is easier for a student. In summary, the SAT provides you with more data to work with than the ACT.
Consider this: after reading roughly two pages of an academic book, do you remember where the various pieces of information are in that reading? Or do you need to go through it again to locate specific details? What you answer will help to decide which exam to take.
Most SAT questions include a line number. Even if they don’t, SAT Reading questions are usually presented chronologically. This implies that even if you aren’t provided a specific line reference, you’ll have a good understanding of where the critical information is. If you can quickly recall where the material in a passage is placed, these ACT questions will be a breeze, giving you more time for the difficult ones. ACT Reading will annoy you and waste your valuable time if you don’t.
Are You Confident in Scientific Terminology for the ACT Science?
Many people make a great deal out of the ACT Science part, but the fact is that it isn’t about science at all. It does not need much understanding of actual scientific facts, such as freezing points or solubility principles, but it makes extensive scientific jargon. The Science part also employs charts and graphs that students with strong science backgrounds will be comfortable with. While the SAT combines some of these topics throughout its three parts, the ACT will need you to answer more questions like this.
However, it will be much faster and easier if you already know these things. Because your Science score is factored into your ACT composite score, it might reduce your total score if you don’t understand science well.
Which type of Writing do you prefer?
Both the SAT and the ACT Writing/English parts include passage-based questions. However, the themes covered by these questions differ across the two exams. ACT English focuses on grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure a little more. This portion also includes significant picture questions concerning the core theme of the material, whereas the SAT Writing component does not.
On the other hand, the SAT is more concerned with questions concerning writing style. It also features accuracy questions, which demand you to choose the best relevant word or phrase. The SATs test vocabulary is a little more than the ACT because of accuracy and other comparable questions.
What Is the Best Way to Decide Whether to Take the ACT or the SAT?
The criteria we discussed above are only broad guidelines to help you think. Finally, the best way to determine which exam is ideal for you is to take a full-length diagnostic test and compare the results. You may find free access to all official SAT and ACT practice exams on our blog. We’ve also created tips on how to calculate your desired SAT and ACT scores. Knowing this can assist you in determining how far you need to progress on each exam.
If your practice test score for one exam is more significant than your practice test score for the other, you have a better chance of getting into your target score using that test. The prospect of taking the SAT or ACT is intimidating for many kids. Miles Smart Tutoring provides the best online tutoring services. Since every student is unique, we tailor our tutoring services to develop a learning program that caters to the specific needs of each individual. Our ACT and SAT tutors are highly attentive to each student and will do their best to guide you to improve upon your particular problem areas. Moreover, our experienced tutoring professionals personally design the best test-taking strategies for each student after considering their strengths and weaknesses.
Contact us for more information about test-taking strategies, material, and tutoring.