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Is it helpful if I take both the SAT and the ACT for colleges to see if my GPA is not as high as I would like it to be?

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Robin F.’s Answer

It's certainly nice to have both a high SAT and ACT score for college applications. but if you turn out to be significantly better at one test than the other, it's better just to concentrate on the one that you're better at and try to raise that score. I've had students over the years with a high ACT score who were hell-bent on getting the SAT one to be just as high. But it's really more effective to just focus on raising the one that is stronger for you if you have more aptitude for one than the other.

An exception to this is if you are planning to declare a major in math, science, or engineering, you want to make sure you can submit a score with a strong math section. For example, you might be better at the ACT overall but do better on the SAT math portion. In that case, it might make sense to try to work on and submit both tests.

As a note, schools can sometimes be concerned about getting high standardized test scores from students with low GPAs. They worry that might indicate a student who is intellectually talented but academically lazy or struggles with the mechanics of keeping up in school. So make sure that your essays, supplemental material, and recommendations explain the disparity between your GPA and your test score. You want to note if your GPA has improved or if there are extenuating circumstances like a long absence from school or an illness that made it harder for you to get good grades. You should explain this in your essay, and your guidance counselor or teachers need to corroborate it in their recommendations. You want to help the colleges feel confident that your high score represents strong natural ability that will translate into a better GPA in college than it has in high school.
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Melody’s Answer

Hello! I personally took both the ACT and SAT. I had a very good GPA in high school but unfortunately, I do not take tests very well. I believe the ACT and SAT are very different. For me the ACT was easier because I think more logically if you are able to take both I would, schools now are able to convert your test score to the one they are looking for.
Although I would double-check which ones do. Due to Covid a lot of schools are no longer taking scores just GPA but if your GPA is not as high I would just take it to strengthen your application and to show you are a good student.
There are a lot of different resources such as Khan Academy that you could use to get a feel of what is coming or what you may like. I also believe you can sign up for class. I signed up for SAT classes and they taught me how to read the book and answer. Of course, they don't give you answers but it is good practice if that is what you are looking for.
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Anna’s Answer

You should look at the test that the school looks at on their admissions website. If they look at both, one approach to take it doing both tests. Then see which test your score better in relatively (you can google the comparison of the scores). Then if possible, just get a used ACT or SAT book from online or a second hand bookstore and study for the one you did better on to take it one more time. The tests are a little different in their format and logic. Some people do better on one than the other, so if you have time you should test it out like I explained above.

If you don’t have time to retake them, you could consider getting one of those practice books and studying a bit beforehand so you know what to expect in test day.

Good luck! You got this :)
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