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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ACT?
The ACT measures your achievement in several academic subjects. It is not an intelligence or aptitude test, and it doesn’t test your memory. It measures abilities that you have developed over time, throughout years of academic preparation, and it tests your problem-solving skills.
The ACT is required by many colleges and universities as part of the process of applying for admission. Your test scores help compare you to other students across the country who have also taken the ACT. Your results on the assessment are one way colleges can tell how well you will be able to do in college. The ACT can also help you determine appropriate career choices and educational options.
What is the SAT?
The SAT is another assessment test used in the college admissions process. It measures your verbal and mathematical reasoning ability. It does not cover reading and science skills like the ACT Test.
The SAT verbal section includes analogies and sentence completions, which are not included on the ACT test. The SAT math section also includes several questions that are not multiple choice; students must calculate their answer and fill it into a number grid.
Which one should I take?
Whether you take the ACT or SAT depends on which colleges and universities you are interested in attending. Almost all colleges require standardized test scores, but you may submit scores from the ACT or the SAT. Some schools prefer one test over the other; you should check the admissions requirements for specific schools to see which one they require.
All About Test Scores
How are my scores used?
- Admission decisions – ACT or SAT test results are used along with grades, letters of recommendation, entrance essays and extra curricular achievement to determine admission chances.
- Course placement – Test results can determine a students strengths and weaknesses as they correlate to certain academic programs. These can lead to advanced, regular, or remedial placement in first year courses.
- Academic advising – College academic advisors may consider ACT or SAT results, high school grades, college grade estimates, planned extracurricular activities, and part-time employment plans to help a student tailor an appropriate program of study.