SAT or ACT: How to Choose the Right Test

For years the SAT college entrance exam was “the one and only,” especially on the east coast. This has changed.

Today the ACT is valued just as highly as the SAT. Yet, many students still prefer the SAT because it focuses on reasoning skills and is not based as much on subject matter.

Other students prefer the ACT because it’s more straightforward since the ACT is curriculum based. They’re both challenging tests.

So, how do you decide which one to take and send to the colleges? It’s a personal decision.

If your child did well on the PSATs, or if he prefers tasks in which he has to figure things out for himself, he may decide to go with the SATs. In either case, have him try a real SAT test.

However, if your child does well on school subject tests and prefers doing tasks that are more like school test questions, she may want to go with ACTs. Have her try a real ACT practice exam. She’ll see they’re more like regular school tests.

Finally, in making this decision, it’s a good idea to contact the colleges that your child is interested in. Ask an admissions counselor which test they prefer.

Join the discussion. Tell us which test your teen has decided to take. Which one do you think is the one kids should choose? SAT or ACT?

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