ACT/SAT Prep Advice From College Counselors

The ACT and SAT are important tests for students who want to attend college. These tests might be difficult, but with the right preparation, you may improve your score. SAT or ACT prep could help you understand the test format, identify your weaknesses, and develop a plan to improve your score. But first, what is the ACT vs the SAT?

What is the ACT?

The ACT is a test that covers math, English, reading, and science. It’s important to prepare for the ACT by studying the subjects that will be covered on the test. The ACT is scored out of 36. Your composite, or total score, is the average of your four test scores from each of your subjects (English, mathematics, reading, science, also each worth up to 36 points). It is rounded to the nearest whole number. Fractions less than one-half are rounded down; fractions one-half or more are rounded up.

What is the SAT?

The SAT is a test that covers two subject sections: math and reading/writing. The essay is optional, and it is scored separately. Your score is based on a 1600-point scale. Each section is scored between 200 and 800. There is no penalty for wrong answers, so your raw score is the sum of the number of questions you answer correctly.

Now that you know the basic differences between the two tests, to further help you prepare, we asked real college counselors to answer these important questions. See what they have to say!

Expert Advice