The ACT measures high school students’ general educational development and their capability to complete college-level coursework. It has four multiple-choice sections covering four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The optional Writing Test measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. The ACT is designed to measure “college readiness.”
The ACT is more widely used by schools in the Midwestern and Southern US, while the SAT is more popular with East and West coast schools. But recently the ACT has been gaining more use on the East coast.
One of the major differences between the ACT and SAT is the time factor in testing. The ACT is generally regarded as being composed of somewhat easier questions (versus the SAT), but the time shorter allotted to complete each section increases the overall difficulty. The ACT allots less than a minute per question on sections ranging from 40 to 75 questions each. Comparatively, the SAT is structured such that the test taker is allowed at least one minute per question, on generally shorter sections (most with 25 or fewer questions).
Many students wonder which test is the best to take. We advocate basing the decision, in part, on actual scores from official practice tests, which we can provide. Call the office to set up a time to take a practice test. You can also talk with one of our coaches about your situation and how to get started with our ACT preparation program.