Wednesday, July 04, 2012

SAT verses ACT, lesser of two evils

Now that the ACT is as widely accepted as the SAT, students are looking to gain an edge by taking the exam that best suits them. This is an excellent idea.

The ACT is a bit more "straight forward" in that it is not as "tricksy."  But the questions are harder and it is still scored according to a normalized distribution [the famous bell curve].

The math and reading are very similar, so colleges that take both look at those scores. Both tests have a grammar section and I like the ACT's style for grammar. It follows a narrative and has a flow to it. Whereas the SAT those what seems to be random sentences at you to correct.

The ACT has a unique section, science. I love it, but I'm a test nerd. It is a narrative with charts, tables and graphs and asks you to analyze data. All of the answers are right there, you just have to find them. It is a very long section with many details. Students who score well, do so by answering quickly.

In the end there are advantages to both tests. The key is to practice both and see which one you hate the least.