Should you take the SAT or ACT?


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The NCAA requires that you take either the ACT or the SAT for initial eligibility certification; but which one should you take?

The answer is simple: you should take the test you feel most comfortable taking – the one that you feel you have a better chance of success.  Each test has its positives and negatives and high school students tend to score comparably on either test.

The ACT tests four high school subjects (English, Reading, Math, and Science) to determine your overall college readiness. The test is 100% multiple choice questions where you will receive points for a correct answer and you will not be penalized for any wrong answers.  Additionally, there is an optional (although some colleges may require this section) writing section to the test.

The SAT tests your general thinking and problem solving abilities in three sections (Writing, Critical Reading, and Math). Most of the test is multiple choice where you gain points for a correct answer but penalized for a wrong answer. The part of the test (Math section) that requires test-taker generated answers does not penalize for a wrong answer. The SAT does offer subject specific tests that are additional to the regular SAT test. These are optional for admission to many colleges or universities so check with the admissions department of each college.

Take the PLAN and the PSAT during the early part of your high school career and see which test suits you better. Ultimately whether you take the ACT or the SAT is a personal choice.

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