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SAT vs. ACT

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So it appears to me that virtually every school I'm looking into (including ivy leagues) wants SAT with two subject tests OR ACT with writing.

I have taken both for the first time this spring and plan to retake them in the fall.

However, I did exceptionally well my first time on the ACT and sort of mediocre/poor on my first SAT.

I guess I'm wondering if I only send colleges my ACT scores will the wonder why I didn't send them my SAT's? And will they have any access to them? If they say ACT or SAT do you think they have a preference?

Any comments or thoughts would be helpful and much appreciated! Thanks! :)

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I have similar questions, but from what I have gathered:

If they say either or, then they really mean either or. They cannot decide if they prefer a candidate based on what test score they send because they clearly asked for either. However, I know some schools (like Columbia) require that no matter which you take (SAT or ACT), you must submit 2 Subject Tests as well, so I would keep that in mind.

If someone else could add further input, that would be lovely.

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I have similar questions, but from what I have gathered:

If they say either or, then they really mean either or. They cannot decide if they prefer a candidate based on what test score they send because they clearly asked for either. However, I know some schools (like Columbia) require that no matter which you take (SAT or ACT), you must submit 2 Subject Tests as well, so I would keep that in mind.

If someone else could add further input, that would be lovely.

Well it depends on the campus of choice. However, at the moment, it appears that SAT is like the name suggests, more standardized and more widely accepted. Soon (maybe in the next 10 years) the ACT will be more widely accepted than the SAT because it is more knowledge based as opposed to the mind tricks based SAT. So really, just look into the campus of choice and they will tell you whether they want the SAT or ACT. Depends on the kind of person you are, if you know lots of knowledge, then you should take the ACT. However, if you are more problem solving, see information between the lines with "less knowledge" but more reasoning then the SAT is for you...

Also, there are lots of useful courses that help with the SAT, I am not so sure about ACT practice courses.

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The SAT is much more focused on analyzing, critical thinking, and reasoning. The questions are in general harder, but there is a longer amount of time allotted.

The level of thinking required for most ACT questions is in general lower. This is especially true for the reading section where the questions are solely based on finding the answer in a passage whereas the SAT asks you to analyze the author's meaning, devices, etc. If you do well in English A1 you'll probably find your self excelling on the SAT Critical Reading whereas doing well in the class will probably not be of much help for the ACT. The ACT is essentially a time test.

Most US colleges and universities weight the test equally although they test different strengths. The ACT is an 'achievement' test while the SAT is an 'aptitude' test. For this reason some people claim the SAT tests your intelligence. It certainly is not an IQ test, although it is shown to correlate slightly more with IQ than the ACT. The SAT is much harder to study for than the ACT. If you want to study for it you will need to actually learn all of the grammatical concepts, and know how to deal with the ETS' tricks. The ACT you can easily prepare by knowing how to pace yourself as that is essentially the only difficult thing about the test.

In my opinion I prefer the SAT (although I'm biased). I scored a 2280 on the SAT (800 CR, 780 Writing/12 essay, 700 math), but only a 30 on the ACT. As the SAT is more widely accepted I suggest you take it first and if you don't like it or don't do well, try the ACT.

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For the US? Send your best score. They don't know which test you take unless you tell them so don't worry about them wondering why you didn't send the SAT or ACT (depending on your choice) because they really won't know.

Most universities will have charts of scores vs %admittance if you can find them. Simply send in the score with the bigger % in my opinnion :P

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As said before, many schools require that you send ALL of your scores from the SAT and/or ACT. Even though the College Board(SAT) gives you the right not to, the University may still request that you do so. So, do what the University says.

If a school gives you a choice between sending all of your SAT or ACT scores, send in the one with the score(s)you feel most confident in. Colleges don't know you took the SAT or ACT until you tell them you have. :D

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Guest Red XII

They will not wonder why you didn't send your SAT if you only send your ACT. They know why - the instructions said either ACT or SAT and two SAT IIs was required, so you fulfilled the requirement by sending the ACT and thus didn't bother wasting money sending the SAT (and maybe didn't even take it).

Send your better score unless both scores are similar, in which case you should send both. They are considered equally. If the admissions office feels the need to do so, it can simply convert ACT scores to SAT scores.

Once upon a time, the ACT was not looked on in the same regard as the SAT. This is no longer the case.

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