For the first time in modern college entrance testing, the ACT has outstripped the SAT in 2012’s numbers of college bound test-takers.
Comparisons and truisms about the two tests abound: While the ACT may present as more straightforward than the SAT, speed and focus are needed, with its four long sections for test takers to go through. Some knowledge of trigonometry is required to do well on the math portion of the ACT. More curriculum based, the ACT does not penalize blind guessing. Learning disabled students who warrant extra time may well do better on the ACT.
While the SAT is a “trickier” test (as the Director of Admission at Princeton, Janet Rapelye,, characterized it) its 10 sections provide a bit more time for test takers, but only educated guessing is wise. Rapelye went on to say, “More information is better,” regarding the submission of both SAT and ACT test results for those students who did equally well in both assessments.
In balance, for most students, both ACT and SAT results end out in very similar percentile ranges. In 2012, 47% of seniors took both the ACT and the SAT to “sweeten their college profiles.”