Your teenager is headed to college soon with the aim of getting a high test score on the SAT or the ACT. But which test will provide your son or daughter with the best opportunity to be admitted to the best schools?
Historically, geography plays a major role in whether students take the SAT or the ACT. Students who live in the midwestern U.S. normally take the ACT. Students who live on the east and west coasts usually write the SAT.
That said, it’s important to note, that regardless of where an applicant lives, many colleges accept scores from both the ACT and the SAT. In addition, there is a current trend for students from SAT-dominant areas to take the ACT (and vice versa). Some students are hedging their bets by choosing to take both tests.
Which test a student should take really depends on his or her strengths. You and your teen should remember that the SAT is considered to be a “reasoning” test. It measures a student’s critical reading, math, and writing skills, while not requiring that student to draw upon specific content from his or her high school courses.
Conversely, the ACT is an “assessment” test. It measures your student’s academic readiness for college with test sections on English, math, reading, and science.
Differences also exist in the way the SAT and the ACT test math. While the new SAT includes more challenging math, it still only tests up to Algebra II. The ACT has always included trigonometry.
Additional differences exist in regards to the ways the SAT and the ACT are scored and how the scores get reported to colleges.
To help you decide which test your teen should take, find out the details of each test and which test is required by the schools being applied to. You should also discuss the tests with with a guidance counselor.
Whichever test your teen takes, the key thing is to make sure he or she has everything needed to prepare for the tests. If your child needs help preparing for the SAT or ACT, remember that Oxford Learning can help.
To find out more about our innovative SAT Plus program that prepares every student to get the highest test score, plus teaches advanced learning and study skills to succeed in college, please click here.
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