The transition from school to college can be a difficult one. School keeps us protected all the time. It protects us from the harsh realities of the outside world. That is why when we take the first step towards the outside world, it overwhelms us.
Exams like SAT and ACT are the first steps that we take towards making the big leap. They can be daunting, but with the right guidance, the whole process is less of an ordeal.
Both SAT and ACT are standardized exams that students need to give for admission to any college. The scores from these tests help them qualify for other rounds of admission.
But the competition now is higher than ever. Students are giving their all to make their chances of getting admission into their favorite college. That is why everybody has up their game.
But what does this mean for you? Well, the first thing you need is guidance. You are giving these tests for the first time, and you don't know which exam you should take, which is considered by most colleges, etc.
That is why guidance or external help will give you some clarity here. To understand better, you must understand the structure of both SAT and ACT well. Only then can you make an informed decision.
SAT or Scholastic Assessment Test is one of the most popular exams for aspiring undergraduate students internationally. People from all over the world appear for the SAT. So clearly, SAT scores also give you admission into the best American schools. This makes the competition very high too.
SAT is designed to test your verbal and quantitative skills. It checks whether you have a holistic understanding of what you have been taught to date. Each section has a total of 800 marks. Thus, the total marks of SAT is 1600.
Apart from the two main sections, there is also an optional essay part. It is the student's choice whether they want to take this up or not. Students aspiring to take up journalism, literature, creative writing, etc., as their major, mostly opt to take this.
On the other hand, ACT, or the American College Testing, is more of a detailed and extensive exam. It has five sections, including the optional essay part. But the ACT test is more extensive, not just because of the sections. Each section contains 36 marks, and there is no negative marking. The student's score is the average of all the scores.
This reduces the scope of enhancing the positive marks, and each section is interdependent. So, for example, if a child has excellent English skills but is average in Science, it will affect his/her overall score anyway. The admission panel will not be able to understand the student's potential for English.
ACT is divided into four main parts. English - where the grammar and syntax of the language are checked. Math, where the student is tested for algebra, geometry, and trigonometry skills. The reading section tests their speaking and comprehension skills.
An important difference between the ACT and SAT is that the ACT has a science section. That is why students who are keen on studying science in the future are more likely to take this exam. This section tests your analytical skills. You will be given scientific data here that you are expected to analyze and thereby conclude.
Although both ACT and SAT are equally demanding, it is not fair to say one is easier than the other. Some students do better at SAT and some at ACT. This is because every student is different and has his own strong and weak points.
That is why, evaluate yourself. Figure out what you want to study and what are your strong points. This will help you understand better whether you should take the SAT or ACT. Both the exams are challenging and recognized through the USA for college admission.
So whatever you decide, stick to your decision. Start preparing as soon as possible. Make sure that you are practicing all the test papers. That way, you will be able to gauge your position better. With the right kind of practice and determination, you will ace the exam - be it ACT or SAT.