“How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” – Part 2

As I mentioned in my last post, this book, “How to Survive the SAT (and ACT)” is made up of quotations from students who took the tests (and, in many cases, did quite well). We all know that you can learn a lot from someone who’s actually “been there,” so it’s definitely worth reading.

In this post, I’m sharing what I learned from the book when it comes to the SAT versus the ACT. Keep in mind that almost all colleges (including the Ivy’s) accept either equally, so it’s important to know both so that you can pick the one that works best for you. One you’ve done that, you can focus your efforts.

The two tests are probably more similar than they are different. That said, arguably the biggest difference is the presence of the Science section on the ACT; it makes up one-quarter of the Composite Score. This section does not test actual science knowledge; it tests comprehension of presented science information, and time is definitely a factor. Therefore, if the ACT is your test, practicing the Science section in a timed environment is a must is you want to do well.

Another difference is the test layout. Including the essay, the ACT tests five areas using five tests, while the SAT tests three areas using 10 tests. ACT = fewer, longer tests with no skipping around. SAT = more, shorter tests with skipping around.

What’s most importance is to practice each to see which is a better fit. You can do this with the PSAT and PLAN (“pre-ACT”) or using the free practice tests that both the College Board and ACT, Inc. provide on-line.

Hope this helps. Don’t forget… Plan, Practice, Perform. 🙂

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