The high school years are full of nuance and complexity. You remember, don’t you? (C’mon, it couldn’t have been that long ago.) Finding time to both socialize and study. Carefree some days but confused on others. A party to attend one night and a paper to write the next.
So the big day is finally here—it’s your ACT or SAT test day! You’ve done everything possible to prepare. Registration is in the rearview mirror, planning is a thing of the past, your study hours are spent.
Many people, students included, love the idea of “more.” Think more bandwidth, binge watching for hours, unlimited breadsticks, and the Fast and Furious movie franchise — people can’t seem to get enough.
Even so, many prestigious colleges and universities have minimum ACT and SAT score requirements for prospective students. If you fail to get the required score, there is no way some universities will consider your application even if you have other things going for you.
There are several rumors about the SAT and the ACT that many high school students and even parents believe to be true. One rumor is that some ACT and SAT tests are easier than others.
As a 31-year-old biologist with a Ph.D., preparing to take the ACT was a surreal experience. I never thought I’d one day go back to high school and put myself in the shoes of today’s students.
If you’ve taken the ACT or SAT and are unhappy with your score (as many students are), you may be wondering if it’s worth taking the test again. If you take either or both tests more than once, you may end up with a superscore that is higher than your composite score from any individual test date.
Each year, millions of high school students prepare to take the ACT or SAT—and sometimes both. Some enroll in after-school or online test-prep classes. Others regularly review ACT and SAT practice questions or go over textbook material and classwork in the subject areas covered on the test.
Knowing how the SAT and ACT scoring systems work will help you know what to expect after putting in the hard work of completing the SAT, ACT, or both exams.
In years past, some schools on the East and West Coasts, especially Ivy League universities, preferred the SAT, while Midwestern schools favored the ACT. Today, however, most schools that require standardized test scores will accept either the ACT or the SAT.