What’s the difference between the ACT or SAT for your student?

highschoolACT or SAT, which one is right for your student? Many colleges now accept either test so it benefits students to take the test they are best suited for, according to their skills. For example, the ACT tests a student’s knowledge of what was learned in high school. If a pupil has received good grades in challenging courses, the ACT may be a good choice. SATs are more of a reasoning test and measure aptitude. A student with good deductive skills may find the SATs a good fit. Below are some differences between the two tests in four basic areas.

CONTENT-ACTs focus on grammar and punctuation, contain 4 sections: English, Math Reading and Science and the math portion covers some trigonometry. SATs emphasize vocabulary, contain 3 sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing and cap off at Algebra II regarding the math section.

STRUCTURE-ACTs are all multiple choice questions, the level of difficulty is fairly consistent throughout and it contains about 215. SATs require some student-generated answers, difficulty increases as the test progresses and there are 140 questions. Both test require the same amount of time so student have less time per question with the ACTs.

STRATEGY-The ACT does not penalize for wrong answers. If time is running out, guesses are suggested on unknown or unfinished questions. The SAT does penalize for incorrect answers so ii’s best to eliminate two choices is possible then make an educated guess at your answer.

SCORING-Each section of the ACT counts for 36 points then a composite score is obtained by averaging the 4 sections. SATs can earn a maximum of 800 points per section.

No matter what test your child decides to take, he/she doesn’t have to prepare alone. Back to Basics tutors can work with your student 1-on-1 to focus on the exact areas he/she needs. Not only will subject matter be addressed but also timing and strategies for taking the tests, such as pacing and “educated guessing” techniques will be covered as well. Help your children get accepted to the college of their choice with Back to Basics!

For 25 years, Back to Basics has been recognized as the area’s undisputed leader in one-on-one tutoring. In addition, the firm offers a unique Delaware private school for grades K-12 and a Private Business and Trade School for adults. Back to Basics is the 2010 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

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