Many colleges require scores from the SAT or ACT tests as part of the undergraduate admissions process. Your SAT score is an important component of your college application.

What is the SAT?

The SAT is a multiple-choice entrance, pencil-and-paper test, administered by the College Board. The SAT provides admissions officers with a common data point that can be used to evaluate all applicants.
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”SAT Duration” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-clock-o” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”275.83″]3 hours (plus 50 min with Optional Essay)[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”ACT Sections” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-pencil” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”275.83″]English Math Reading Science Writing (Optional)[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”Highest Score” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-arrow-circle-o-up” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”295″]1600[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”Lowest Score” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-arrow-circle-o-down” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”295″]1060[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”Requirement” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-cog gear” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”295″]Majority of colleges but not all[/ultimate_info_table]

What is the ACT?

The ACT is a multiple-choice entrance, pencil-and-paper test, administered by ACT Inc. It is used/accepted by the majority of undergraduate colleges in the US. Like the SAT, the ACT provides admissions officers with a data point that can be used to evaluate all applicants.
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”ACT Duration” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-clock-o” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”275.83″]2 hours 55 min (plus 40 min with Optional Writing)[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”ACT Sections” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-pencil” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”275.83″]English Math Reading Science Writing (Optional)[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”Highest Score” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-arrow-circle-o-up” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”295″]36[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”Lowest Score” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-arrow-circle-o-down” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”295″]1[/ultimate_info_table]
[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design06″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#ffffff” color_bg_highlight=”#6394bf” package_heading=”Requirement” icon_type=”selector” icon=”Defaults-cog gear” heading_font_color=”#000000″ subheading_font_color=”#000000″ features_font_color=”#000000″ button_font_color=”#000000″ heading_font_size=”desktop:20px;” features_font_size=”desktop:15px;” features_min_ht=”295″]Majority of colleges but not all[/ultimate_info_table]

Should I take the SAT or ACT?

The majority of colleges in the U.S. accept either the SAT or the ACT, with no bias or preference for one or the other. It is possible to prepare for both tests and submit your best score! However, there are a few key differences in terms of content. For starters, the ACT includes a Science section and you are allowed to use a calculator in the Math sections (unlike the SAT)! Here’s a big picture comparison.

SAT

Reading Writing & Language Math Essay (Optional)

ACT

English Math Reading Science Reasoning Essay (Optional)

SAT

3 hours (without essay) 3 hours 50 min (with essay)

ACT

2 hours 55 min (without essay) 3 hours 40 min (with essay)

SAT

Arithmetic Algebra I & II Geometry, Trigonometry Statistics

ACT

Arithmetic Algebra I & II Geometry & Trigonometry

SAT

5 reading passages

ACT

4 reading passages

SAT

None

ACT

1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not knowledge)

SAT

Optional – designed to test your comprehension of a text

ACT

Optional – designed to test how you evaluate complex issues

SAT

Only on some sections

ACT

Yes

SAT

Majority of colleges but not all

ACT

Majority of colleges but not all

SAT

400 – 1600

ACT

1 – 36

SAT

1060

ACT

21

SAT

1170 – 1230

ACT

24

What score do I need for the Ivy League?

[ultimate_info_table design_style=”design03″ color_scheme=”custom” color_bg_main=”#6394bf”]

School Name 75% SAT 25% SAT 75% ACT 25% ACT
Yale 1600 1490 35 31
Harvard 1600 1470 35 32
Columbia 1590 1470 35 32
Princeton 1590 1470 35 32
Brown 1580 1440 34 31
Dartmouth 1580 1410 34 30
UPenn 1570 1450 34 31
Cornell 1560 1410 34 30

[/ultimate_info_table]

Do I need to sit the SAT/ACT?

It depends on where you’d like to study. Admissions officers recognise that the SAT/ACT don’t truly reflect the whole of a student’s accomplishments, especially those coming from a different academic system.

Over 900 colleges, including many prestigious ones, don’t require students to submit standardised test scores (sometimes referred to as “test flexible”). Educom consultants will help you navigate the entire application process.

Here’s just a few of them:

To find out more, schedule a free consultation with Educom today!

Arrange a free consultation with one of our expert academic advisors who will discuss and create a personalised plan to realise your potential.