Your College Coach
Lisa Woolf
Independent College Counselor
Lisaw@yourcollegecoach.net
(415) 987-8081
ACT versus SAT
They are both standardized tests which are part of the college admissions process.  Is one test a better fit for your student?   Consider some key differences between these two important exams.
SAT
Versus
ACT
Reasoning test
Type of Test
Content-Based
Reading, Grammar, Writing, Math
Content-Covered
Grammar, Math, Reading,
Science, and Optional Writing
Tricky, questions can be phrased in
ways to make them difficult to
understand
Test Style
Straightforward, questions may be
long but are easier to comprehend
Math, Critical Reading and Writing
scores will each range between 200-
800; total SAT score ranges
between 600-2400
Scoring
English, Math, Reading, Science
scores will each range between 1-
36. Composite ACT score is the
average of your score in the four
sections, and ranges between 1-
36.
You lose 1/4 point for each incorrect
answer (except the grid in the Math
questions)
Penalty for wrong
answers
No loss of points for incorrect
answers
Difficulty increases as you move
through each question type in a
section
Difficulty levels
Difficulty levels of questions is
random
Arithmetic, data analysis, Algebra I
and II, functions, formulas are
provided in the test booklet
Math levels
Arithmetic, Algebra I and II,
functions,geometry,
trigonometry,no formulas provided
With private schools and public
schools on both coasts; however,
every four-year college in the U.S.
accepts SAT scores.
Tends to be more
popular...
With private schools and public
schools in the Midwest and
South; however, every four-year
college in the U.S. accepts ACT
scores.
Typically about four weeks before
test date
Registration deadline
Typically five to six weeks before
test date
Yes, if a student requests a score
report to be sent to specific
colleges, the report will include the
scores the student received on every
SAT test taken.
Are all scores sent to
colleges?
No, there is a score choice
option. Students can choose
which scores the college will see.
www.collegeboard.com
More information
www.act.org
Copyright Lisa Woolf 2016