ACT vs SAT Infographic

Trying to decide between taking the ACT vs SAT? We don’t blame you—many fantastic schools accept either test. And yet there are quite a few differences between the tests: the SAT is a reasoning test, the ACT is a content-based test; the ACT tests science, but the SAT doesn’t; the SAT gives you more time per question, while the ACT reading is slightly easier. And that’s not all…

Luckily, we have a handy infographic that can help you decide which test to take!

After reading, let us know if you still need help deciding which test to take, so that we can help you get your best ACT score!

Liam got a 35 on the ACT. Get a higher ACT score with Magoosh.




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  • Kristin Fracchia

    Dr. Kristin Fracchia has over fifteen years of expertise in college and graduate school admissions and with a variety of standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, with several 99% scores. She had a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, an MA degree from The Catholic University, and BA degrees in Secondary Education and English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Club Fellowship from the University of California, Irvine. She’s worked as a high school teacher and university professor, as an independent college and graduate school admissions counselor, and as an expert tutor for standardized tests, helping hundreds of students gain acceptance into premier national and international institutions. She now develops accessible and effective edtech products for Magoosh. Her free online content and YouTube videos providing test prep and college admissions advice have received over 6 million views in over 125 countries. Kristin is an advocate for improving access to education: you can check out her TEDx talk on the topic. Follow Kristin on LinkedIn!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

6 Responses to ACT vs SAT Infographic

  1. SN December 15, 2016 at 6:31 am #

    This is far more helpful than the list of other search results I scrolled by to get here. And thank you so much for sharing your years of valuable experience this way. My son will process this information far better now.

  2. Zoë December 15, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    Hi, this isn’t a real comment – I just wanted to draw your attention to the Scoring infographic – you misspelled “deduction,” adding an extra “a” in every case.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 17, 2016 at 12:53 am #

      Hi Zoë,

      Oh no! I don’t have access to the image files I need to fix this, but I’ve let our content team know. It won’t get fixed immediately, but we sincerely appreciate you pointing this out!

  3. Laura June 8, 2018 at 10:16 pm #

    hi, my name is Laura and I’m about to take my first ACT tomorrow!! i’m honestly a little nervous because I just went down the list and i feel like i am the type of person to do better on the SAT. i dont know what tomorrow is going to be like so wish me luck!!

  4. Audrey Kirk October 30, 2019 at 10:52 am #

    I’m not seeing an embed code for this?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 6, 2020 at 7:20 pm #

      Hi Audrey!

      Thanks for letting us know about this. 🙂 I’ll let our team know so they can look into getting the embed code set up. 😀

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