ACT vs. SAT – Comparing Tests
What is the PSAT?
The PSAT is the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test given in both the sophomore and juniors years. It covers the same content as the SAT (without Writing). A student report provides scores in each content area, and an SAT score can be estimated by adding a “0” to your score. A section in this report provides you with a detailed review review of how you answered questions on the test, with correct answers given. This allows for identification of your strengths and weaknesses in each subject. National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are selected based on the PSAT score.
What is the ACT?
The ACT or American College Testing Assessment Test is a college admissions exam given five times a year (September-June). There are four sections: English, Math, Reading and Science. The ACT takes two hours and 55 minutes (3 hours and 25 minutes with the optional Writing). Writing is recommended and required for most colleges and universities. Most students take the ACT for the first time during the winter/spring of their junior year. You will receive four scores on the ACT, one for each section. Each section is scored on a scale of 1-36 points. You will also receive a composite score which is the average of the four scores. The national average is about 21. The writing test scores 0-12 points.
What is the SAT?
The SAT or Scholastic Assessment Test is a college admissions exam given seven times a year (October-June). There are ten sections: three math, three reading, three writing, and one experimental which is not scored but is used only for research. The SAT takes four hours. Most students take the SAT for the first time during the winter/spring of their junior year. You will receive three scores on the SAT, one math, one reading and one writing. The writing test scores 0-12 points. Each subject is scored on a scale of 200-800 points for a total of 2400 maximum points. Combine the three scores for a total SAT score. The national average is about 1500.