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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Sat vs. Act.How do the tests compare? Summary

Sat vs. Act.How do the tests compare?

Book Summary   by:Sima C     Original Author: Seema Chugh
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The€T, formerly the American College Testing Program or American College Test, is a college-entrance achievement test that originated in 1959 as an adversary to the College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Test, now the SAT. The similarities between the two tests end at being formalized tests, aimed towards college admissions and scolarship purposes.They are both pedictable tests which can be cracked through sufficient study and practice. At the same time, the differences are profound and far between, some of which are listed below: 1. The ACT (American College Testing Assessment) is an all-multiple-choice test conducted six times a year at various locations. It is an examination intended to determine academic achievement in four major curriculum areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. Materials covered on the four tests that incorporate the ACT assessment match up very closely to topics covered in typical high school classes. Many colleges and universities draw on ACT scores as part of the admissions process. The SAT, conducted seven times a year, has subject-specific tests in Math, Chemistry, Spanish, History, and more. Most competitive schools require you to submit up to three scores. The test structure comprises of a ten section exam including three Critical Reading, three Maths, three Writing, and one Experimental. No topics on Science are included. 2. The ACT test takers have a major edge over the SAT since unlike the SAT, it does not take points off for an incorrect answer, enabling the test taker to answer or guess at every single question. Instead of having the writing test first like in the SAT, the ACT offers the optional writing test after all parts of the basic test have been completed. With a few exceptions, the ACT does not test for vocabulary,but stresses more on grammar.. 3. The maths component of the ACT includes trigonometry, a topic that is not included in the SAT Reasoning Test (although it is present in the SAT Subject Test covering maths). Only up to 9th grade basic geometry and Algebra II questions are asked. One distinct policy difference is that the ACT does not allow any calculators with algebra systems, including the popular TI-89.
4. An important dissimilarity in the two tests is in the despatching of the scores. When sending SAT scores, every score received is sent. If a student requests that a score report be sent to specific colleges, the report will consist of the scores the student received on every SAT taken. The ACT allows the person to pick which scores from a certain sitting to send. This is referred to as "score choice”. 5. The ACT judges 1-36 for each subject, averaged for a composite score. A 36 is the highest possible composite score. The SAT scores on 200-800 per section, added together for a collective score. A 2400 is the highest possible combined score. 6. The ACT is more widely used in the midwest and southeast United States, while the SAT is more popular in the northeast and the west coast. 7. The best period for registration for SAT is about six weeks prior to the test date whereas it is nearly four weeks in the case of ACT. 8. Most colleges accept the ACT in lieu of the SAT. One great advantage is that the test can be taken numerous times and one can choose which score to submit. In February 2005 an optional essay was added to the ACT. 9. Some students who do not perform well on the SAT find that they do better on the ACT due to the content and the simplicity in the formation of questions. Mirroring the changes undergone by the SAT in 2005, the ACT started offering a writing test in February, 2005. The ACT has seen an increase in the number of test takers recently; ACT enrollment now virtually equals that of the SAT. Almost every college accepts and treats the ACT and SAT equally.
Published: June 28, 2006   
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