SAT or ACT? Do you know which test is right for you?

SAT / ACT Advice & Deadlines

Students applying to the USA: Plan out when you will take the SAT, SAT II Test, TOEFL, and the ACT.
Please keep in mind your University & Registration Deadlines:

Colleges accept both tests equally, so the choice is up to you! Here’s what you need to know to compare the exams.

SAT ACT
Why Take It Colleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships. Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.
Test Structure
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing and Language
  •  Essay (Optional)
  • Math
  • Reading
  • English
  • Science
  • Essay (Optional)
Length
  • 3 hours (without essay)
  • 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)
  • 2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay)
  • 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)
Reading 5 reading passages 4 reading passages
Science None 1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)
Math Covers:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra I & II
  • Geometry, Trigonometry and Data Analysis
Covers:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra I & II
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
Tools Some math questions don’t allow you to use a calculator. You can use a calculator on all math questions.
Essays Optional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text. Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.
How It’s Scored Scored on a scale of 400–1600 Scored on a scale of 1–36

Need help deciding between the ACT and the SAT? Try a free practice test for each and see how you score!