ACT vs SAT-- What’s the Difference?

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You work so hard, that’s why you deserve to know which test is right for you. Below are some differences between the ACT and the SAT.


The ACT has longer passages while the SAT has more complex, advanced passages. The SAT often uses tables and graphics so you have to be able to analyze the data.


You can use a calculator for the entire math section of the ACT. The SAT contains a 20 question section where you cannot use your calculator. Also, about 20% of the questions require you to come up with your own answer, rather than the usual multiple choice.


The ACT has a science section but it focuses more on thinking skills than actual knowledge of science. Though the SAT does not have a science section, there are tables and graphics sprinkled throughout the test that require similar analytical and interpretation skills as the ACT science section.


The ACT essay is more flexible than the SAT essay– which is purely analytical. You can win on your ACT essay by being persuasive and thinking outside of the box. The SAT essay requires more structure—you are to read and analyze the way the author has built his/her argument.

“Which test do I take?”

Still not sure on which test to take? Call us at 410-421-8080 and we will help you find the test that’s right for you. We offer both ACT and SAT diagnostic tests and tutoring packages.

Sources: article “ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Is Right for You?”