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Chris Lele

Should I Take the ACT Instead of the SAT?

You’ve probably heard: the new SAT is a lot like the ACT. With that in mind, why not just take the ACT?

This is a great question, considering you’ll want to put your best foot forward and the SAT, though given an ACT makeover, is still the SAT. In other words, if the New SAT is a harder version than the ACT, why not just take the ACT?

Well, we bump into a small issue with the word “easy.” What is easier for most translates to a test in which you’ll have to avoid careless mistakes. Missing one question can cost you a lot more than on a difficult test, which typically has a higher curve.

Also, the tests are still different. The Redesigned SAT math is not as trig heavy as ACT math, but has more hardcore algebra and coordinate geometry. While the reading passages are pretty similar, the passages are more difficult and dense. Granted, the writing is very similar, though, it might be argued that it is a tad trickier on the new SAT.

To find out which one is right for you, take two practice tests: one for the new SAT and one for the ACT. You’ll have to wait on information from the College Board to release information regarding scaling. Nevertheless, you’ll get a sense of which test, if either, you’ll do better on.

Even if you do similarly, you should still take both tests. If you end up doing much better on one, then submit that score. If you do similarly well, submit the scores from both tests. It’ll show you take initiative!


Did you know that Magoosh offers online test prep for the ACT, current SAT, and New SAT exams? We also give discounts to students who purchase subscriptions for more than one exam. Learn more at magoosh.com.


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About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 8 million views.

You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog!

You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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