SAT vs ACT 2018: Which is easier? | Video Post

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SAT or ACT?! ACT or SAT?! How do you choose?? Which one is easier?!?

As you’ve probably figured out by now, most college and universities accept both the SAT and the ACT, so it’s up to you to decide out which test to take. That’s a pretty big responsibility, and there’s a lot of factors to consider.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled all of that information in our newest resource: the “SAT vs ACT 2018: Which is easier?” video.

Watch the embedded video below, or scroll down for a full video transcript. 🙂

What Will I See in the “SAT vs ACT 2018: Which is easier?” Video?

In this free video, our SAT expert Chris will give you a brief introduction, followed by five must-have insights about the differences between the two tests.

In this video you will learn:

    1. What makes the SAT trickier than the ACT?
    2. What should you know about the SAT’s optional essay?
    3. What’s up with the ACT’s science section?
    4. Why should you take practice tests?
    5. How should your test date influence your decision?

Check out this infographic for a more in-depth look at the SAT test vs the ACT test! And if you like the video, don’t forget to hit Like, and subscribe to the channel for more study tips. 🙂

“SAT vs ACT 2018: Which is easier?” Full Transcript

Hello, I am Chris, the SAT expert at Magoosh.

And today, besides a broken thumb, I have for you the differences between the ACT and the SAT, and which one is ultimately right for you.

So let’s start off with those important differences when answering or asking yourself, which one is the test I should take?

First, I’ve noted that the SAT is trickier.

And what I mean by that is on the ACT for example, in a math section, they are gonna take a concept that emerged 32 years ago on high school but they’re just gonna see if you understand and remember what the concept is about.

Whereas on the SAT they might take that concept but then wrap it up in some tricky ways you are not quite sure what the question is asking.

What you have to do and get the final answer?

And so therefore, if you’re not necessarily comfortable and that kind of trickiness and it freaks you out and you’d rather just study and then know that you know something and do all the test, so maybe the SAT is the right test for you.

Okay, next difference to note.

This one has to do with the essay.

The essay, on the SAT, the essay is optional for many schools, not for every school.

So definitely check that out and look at the school that you’re interested or schools that you’re interested in.

But if you are going to school in which the SAT essay is optional, and you don’t like writing essays, maybe the SAT is the right test for you because the ACT, that essay is not optional, you have to take it.

Good thing to keep in mind.

Next, we have the ACT has science.

Now, science on the ACT, to be fair, isn’t quite the same as what you think of when you think of science class, Biology, Chemistry, Physics.

But it is still science, so if that’s not a strength of yours, you may wanna reconsider taking the ACT and instead take the SAT.

Now, those are just three high level core differences between the tests.

But if you look at the description below and click on the link area that will take you to this really cool infographic that breaks down all the differences between the ACT and the SAT.

But one thing that infographic can answer is, which one of you actually better at?

What you mean?

Well, I mean take practice tests, take an ACT practice tests, and an SAT practice tests.

Before you actually start prepping, before you answer that question, in fact, in order to answer that question.

That way you know which one you should take.

Now, when I say better, yeah, I know they’re totally different on their little scoring systems.

So how do you actually compare them?

You compare them via percentiles, that is the key.

So when you get your final SAT score or your final ACT score, when you take a practice test you can look at these charts and then you will see where your percentile ranking is.

And so maybe you sweat throughout the SAT your practice test, and it was the worst experience of your life.

And then you took the ACT practice test and it was much easier.

Oh, I love you ACT, this is great.

And then you looked at the percentiles and you actually did let’s say 87% on the SAT and only 64% on the ACT.

Then guess what?

Even though the ACT seemed easier, the test you most likely want to take is the SAT.

And of course, quickly you can really answer these questions is to take these practice tests.

So one final piece though is maybe you figured out all these things and maybe a percentile isn’t really much different and you’re wondering, so which one should I take?

Well, check out when the test dates are.

Make sure that there’s even a testing date open.

Maybe they’re all sold out.

Or may be, the test is on a date which just doesn’t work for you, it’s during crunch time, you’ve all these other stuff going on, who knows what it might be.

But you need to know this, before you make that final decision.

And I will see you next time.

Still not sure which test to take?

Want more help choosing between the SAT and the ACT? Take a look at some of our other free standardized testing tips and resources to help you with your big decision:

Happy studying! 🙂


  • Molly Kiefer

    Molly is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She designs Magoosh’s graphic assets, manages our YouTube channels and podcasts, and contributes to the Magoosh High School Blog.

    Since 2014, Molly has tutored high school and college students preparing for the SAT, GRE, and LSAT. She began her tutoring journey while in undergrad, helping her fellow students master math, computer programming, Spanish, English, and Philosophy.

    Molly graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a B.A. in Philosophy, and she continues to study ethics to this day. An artist at heart, Molly loves blogging, making art, taking long walks and serving as personal agent to her cat, who is more popular on Instagram than she is.


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

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