WHich Test SHould I Take?
SAT vs ACT - What's The Difference?
The ACT test assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.
The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science.
The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay.
The ACT is curriculum-based and is not an aptitude or an IQ test. Instead, the questions on the ACT are directly related to what students have learned in high school courses in English, mathematics, and science.
The SAT is designed to measure verbal and quantitative reasoning skills that are related to college performance. SAT scores are intended primarily to help forecast the college academic performance of individual students. The tests are administered several times throughout the year.
The SAT is designed to be an aptitude test. This means that it tests your abilities to perform in certain subjects instead of assessing your current achievements in certain subject matter.
Both tests reward you for recognizing elements of proper grammar but the ACT places more emphasis on punctuation and it also includes questions on rhetoric strategies.
On one hand, the SAT critical reading sections place more emphasis on vocabulary than the ACT English sections. If you have good language skills but a not-so-great vocabulary, the ACT might be the better exam for you. On the other hand, if science isn't your thing, the SAT may be the way to go for you.
WHAT ABOUT THE ASVAB TEST?
Military.com defines the ASVAB test as a timed multi-aptitude test, which is given at over 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Department of Defense. It is required for entrance into the military.
Your scores in four critical areas Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you're qualified to enlist in the U.S. military.
Your scores in the other areas of the ASVAB will determine how qualified you are for certain military occupational specialties and Enlistment Bonuses. A high score will improve your chances of getting the specialty/job and signing bonus you want.
For online test preparation, click the Kaplan link below.
Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take?
It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT while others rock the ACT. Below are a few generalizations about each test. Regardless of your test choice, be sure to take a study course for it and talk to people who have taken the test you are taking!
ACT questions tend to be more straightforward.
The SAT has a stronger emphasis on vocabulary.
The ACT has a Science section, while the SAT does not.
You don't need to know anything about amoebas or chemical reactions for the ACT Science section. It is meant to test your reading and reasoning skills based upon a given set of facts. But if you're a true science-phobe, the SAT might be a better fit.
The ACT tests more advanced math concepts.
In addition to basic arithmetic, algebra I and II, and geometry, the ACT tests your knowledge of trigonometry, too. That said, the ACT Math section is not necessarily harder, since many students find the questions to be more straightforward than those on the SAT.
The ACT Writing Test is optional on test day, but required by many schools.
The 25-minute SAT essay is required and is factored into your writing score. The 30-minute ACT writing test is optional. If you choose to take it, it is not included in your composite score — schools will see it listed separately. Many colleges require the writing section of the ACT, so be sure to check with the schools where you are applying before opting out.
The SAT is broken up into more sections.
On the ACT, you tackle each content area (English, Math, Reading and Science) in one big chunk, with the optional writing test at the end. On the SAT, the content areas (Critical Reading, Math and Writing) are broken up into 10 sections, with the required essay at the beginning. You do a little math, a little writing, a little critical reading, a little more math, etc. When choosing between the SAT and ACT, ask yourself if moving back and forth between content areas confuse you or keep you energized?
The above information was taken from