Would it be wise to take the SAT and ACT?
I am a rising junior at Kearny High School. I definitely know that I am taking the SAT in upcoming months, but I am not too sure if I should also take the ACT. I would like to know what makes up the ACT and if I should take it before the SAT or after the SAT. #college #college-advice #testing
Great question! I'd recommend taking a standardized test, either the SAT or ACT. You can always determine later whether or not you want the scores to be sent, especially if you're applying to a test-optional university. If you have the option, take the writing portion - particularly if you do well with your writing.
- To determine which test to take (or if you'd like to take both), I'd recommend learning about each test. They are different and similar in various ways. Which test is better for you will depend on you. Do the research and be honest with yourself!
- In addition to learning about the philosophies and logistics of each test, take practice exams. Get a feel for each question: language used, what/how/why is being asked, what/how/why is the response expected. Formulation of the questions and answers can differ between the tests in the different subjects.
- Establish a timeline that you can use to prepare for the test. How many times do you think you'll take it. Many students take it twice: once in the spring of junior year and again at the beginning of the senior year. I do not recommend taking any test more than three times.
Spend time on the front end to determine what works best for you, including whether or not the schools to which you're interested in applying require a standardized test score (and any in particular such as ACT, SAT, and/or SAT II [subject tests]). This will help you in the planning process.
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Absolutely take both! I remember when I was in high school I took both. I did terrible on the SAT but I excelled on the ACT. The ACT test made more sense for me. This may or may not be the same for you. You might love the SAT and hate the ACT. Take both and see which one you are better at. And you can take whatever test you do better on again and perhaps you'll get an even higher score the next time you take it. First time I took the ACT I scored 21 but after taking it again and studying it more I got a 25. Honestly its a game with SAT and ACT you just go to figure out the proper test taking techniques for each test to do well on them. Test prep for both tests is a major key. So if you can get your hands on some practice SAT/ACT books you should be fine if you put in the work.