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SAT vs ACT

Colleges require the SAT or the ACT.  Most colleges will accept either test. Choose the test for which you (or your student) have the best chance of success. The differences between the SAT and the ACT are:

  • SAT questions appear in order of increasing difficult; not true on the ACT

  • SAT has a greater focus on vocabulary than the ACT

  • ACT includes trigonometry; the SAT does not

  • ACT tests English grammar; the SAT does not

  • ACT is all multiple choice; the SAT is not

  • ACT does not have a wrong-answer penalty; the SAT does

Overall, the SAT tests verbal and math reasoning knowledge, while the ACT tests specific subject area knowledge.

Need test dates, deadlines, and registration information?
Go to the ACT website or the SAT website. This information is also available in the Wheeler Guidance Office.

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