SAT vs. ACT Differences

There are differences between the SAT and ACT tests and comparing them could help you decide which test is a better fit for you.

SAT vs. ACT DifferencesFounded in 1984, Livius Prep is committed to excellence and student success. During our 30-plus years, we have helped thousands of students improve their SAT and ACT scores. More than 1,000 of them have achieved perfect test scores, and at least 2,000 Livius Prep students have been accepted to Ivy League schools.

Livius Prep is headquartered in Newton, MA. Our offices feature state-of-the-art technology in every tutoring space and classrooms for group instruction. We also have locations in Andover, Lexington and Wellesley, MA, and Syosset, NY.

ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Should You Take?

Both the ACT and SAT are accepted by every college in America. There is no advantage to taking one test over the other, nor is one “easier” or “harder,” but taking the test that best fits their skills and abilities will help students earn the highest scores. For example:

Test Length: Both tests are similar in length. The overall testing time for the ACT is 2 hours and 55 minutes, with an extra 40 minutes for the optional Writing section. The overall testing time for the SAT is 3 hours, with an additional 50 minutes for the optional Essay.

Sections: The ACT and SAT contain similar sections. On the ACT, the sections are English, Math, Reading, and Science, and an optional Writing Test. On the SAT, the sections are Reading, Writing and Language, Math No Calculator, Math Calculator, and an optional Essay.

If a student is confident in his or her Math skills and can work fast without a calculator, the SAT test may be the better choice. If stronger in English and History/Social Studies (the focus of many ACT Reading passages), he or she may prefer the ACT.

Number of Questions: There are 215 questions on the ACT and 154 on the SAT. In every section, the SAT allots more time for answering each question. Because the ACT is faster paced, students who struggle with time management or are easily overwhelmed by pressure may have better success with the SAT.

Practice Tests

The best way to decide which test you prefer is to actually take both practice tests and compare your scores. However, many practice test variations you will find around the Internet are not official, and little work has gone into them.

The Livius Prep ACT Actual Condition Practice Test and SAT Actual Condition Practice Test are comprehensive and multifaceted practice exams that help students become completely prepared for whatever testing challenges lay ahead.

Our realistic practice tests enable you to understand what will be tested, get familiar with the structure and types of questions in each section, and learn how to best approach them. You will also be able to identify and fix your weaknesses in order to improve your score on the actual test.

Livius Prep can help you understand the differences between the SAT and ACT college admissions tests and develop strategies that will increase your odds of success. Call us at 800-428-TEST (800-428-8378) to find out more about our current offers and pricing.