Both the SAT and ACT are standardised exams that colleges and institutions use to assess applicants. The two exams do have some significant variations, though:
- Format: The SAT and ACT contain many question kinds and varied forms. The ACT contains four sections—English, Math, Reading, and Science—and an optional writing test, compared to the SAT’s three—Reading, Writing and Language, and Math—plus an optional essay.
- Timing: The SAT and ACT both follow different schedules. With three hours (with an optional essay) as opposed to two hours and 55 minutes (including an optional writing test) for the ACT, the SAT is slightly lengthier overall.
- Scoring: The scoring procedures for the SAT and ACT are dissimilar. The SAT has two component scores (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math), along with an optional essay score, and is graded on a range of 400 to 1600. With four component scores (English, Math, Reading, and Science) and an optional writing score, the ACT is graded on a scale of 1-36.
- Content: The SAT and ACT have slightly different content as well. While the ACT places greater emphasis on what pupils have learned in school, the SAT places more emphasis on reasoning and critical thinking abilities.
Overall, the SAT and ACT have certain similarities, but they also differ greatly in terms of format, scheduling, scoring, and substance. When choosing which test to take, it’s critical to be aware of these variations.