• Credit to Kaplan for posting this info on their website for public use.  Both the ACT and the SAT are nationally administered standardized tests that help colleges evaluate candidates. All schools accept either test interchangeably. So as you begin to think about college and creating the best application package possible, your admissions plan should begin with the question, "Which test should I take?"

    For More Information on ACT: www.actstudent.org or 319/337-1270
    SAT: www.collegeboard.org  or 866/756-7346
    Updated Jan 2017

    What's the Difference Between the ACT and SAT?

    Test Structure and Format ACT Current SAT
    Length 3 hours, 35 min (with Writing Test) 3 hours, 50 minutes
    Structure 4 Sections (English, Math, Reading, Science) plus an optional Writing Test 10 Sections (3 Critical Reading, 3 Math, 3 Writing, and 1 Experimental, which is unscored) Optional Essay Required by UC's
    Scoring ACT Current SAT
    Score Composite of 1-36 based on average scores from the 4 test sections
    4 scores of 1-36 for each test
    Optional Writing Test score of 0-12 (not included in the overall score)
    Total score range of 600-1600 based on adding scores from 2 subjects
    2 scores of 200-800 for each subject
    Score of 0-12 for the Essay
    Wrong Answer Penalty No penalty for wrong answers No penalty for wrong answers
    Sending Score History You decide which score is sent You decide which score is sent
    *Some colleges require you to send all scores, check with the college to be sure
    Content ACT Current SAT
    Reading Reading Comprehension Reading Comprehension
    Sentence Completions
    Math Arithmetic
    Algebra II
    Algebra II
    Science Analysis
    Basic Content
    Problem Solving
    Not applicable
    Essay Optional Final Section
    40 Minutes
    Not Included in Composite Score
    Topic of importance to high school students
    First Section
    25 Minutes
    Factored into overall score
    More abstract topic