This post is part one of the “4 Pros” series for those who are uncertain about picking the SAT or ACT. We will show you the 4 pros for taking the SAT. If this sounds like you, it is likely that you will have a better test result by taking the SAT as opposed to the ACT.
1. More Time Per Question
On average, you will have more time per question on the SAT. Refer to the table below for a more detailed breakdown:
|Section 1||Reading: 52 questions in 65 mins||English: 75 questions in 45 mins|
|Section 2||Writing & Language: 44 questions in 35 mins||Math: 60 questions in 60 mins|
|Section 3||Math (no calculator): 20 questions in 25 mins||Reading: 40 questions in 35 mins|
|Section 4||Math (calculator): 38 questions in 55 mins||Science: 40 questions in 35 mins|
2. Chronological Order + Evidence-support Q’s
Nest, except for questions that require understanding the entire passage, SAT reading questions are all in chronological order and follow the order of the content. On the other hand, ACT reading questions appear randomly. Another difference between SAT and ACT reading sections is evidence-support pairs. In SAT, there are pairs where the first question asks you something about the passage, followed by the second question asking “which choice/quote provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question.” There are no such questions on the ACT, so if you are capable of finding evidence quickly, the SAT has many evidence-support pairs for you to show your strength.
3. 50% Math!
The most significant difference is that math accounts for 50% of your SAT score. Though many say ACT math is easier, this statement is not entirely true because ACT math questions start off easy, and get harder and harder in the end. If you cannot master every high school math topic, or have forgotten many of them, you should bet your money on the SAT. In addition, SAT math questions are more about basic algebra, graphs, geometry, and other concepts, so it would be easier to prepare for as well.
4. Only 4 Answer Choices + Formula Sheet
Lastly, every question on the SAT only contains 4 answer choices, while ACT math questions appear with 5 possible answer choices. There are certainly strategies to help eliminate answers choices on both tests, but choosing from 4 choices is clearly less time-consuming than choosing from 5. Plus, the SAT math sections come with a basic formula sheet, so in case of emergency, you can flip to the front page and save a few points!