The SAT or ACT – Which to Choose?
I’m often asked with this question, “Which should they take… the SAT or the ACT” and the answer couldn’t be more simple. Check with the university or college they’re applying to. It may not be written in stone, but most colleges have a preference for one exam over the other. If you’re that determined to find out, then a simple phone call can’t hurt. It may even open the door to great conversations and the answering of more questions you may not have even thought of. And if you’re reading this, then your moment has arrived. Begin actively choosing which schools you (ahem, I mean your children) will be applying too and begin the groundwork for your biggest project ever, the College Admissions Campaign!
Round 1 – Registration Time
Now that you’re in the process of narrowing down which schools your son/daughter will apply to, it’s time to begin registering them to take either (or both) of the exams. There is a nominal fee to taking the exams. Both offer fee waivers should there be any financial limitations. This requires time to process so be sure to begin prepping early with plenty of time to spare. If planning to take the SAT, then go to www.collegeboard.org. Here you can create both a parent and student account, complete registration and begin exploring some of the free online test prep content that is provided. If planning to take the ACT, then go to www.act.org to do the same.
Round 2 – SAT Test Prep
We at Benedictine Tutors provide extensive test prep for both the SAT and ACT exams. The SAT has traditionally been more widely accepted. It is a marathon of an exam taking, on average, 4 hours to complete. The SAT is a series of mini-tests that challenge a student’s math and reading skills. The emphasis of the math test is on Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. The emphasis of the reading test is on comprehension, grammar, critical reasoning and analysis. Additionally, there is the option to take the additional “Essay”.
Although not required, we highly recommended for a student to make every effort in taking the essay portion of the exam. By doing so, one exhibits the (1) desire to go above and beyond what is required, (2) takes advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate their writing prowess and (3) assure themselves that they have made every effort—all 110% of it—to do their best. Of course, there is an additional fee for taking the essay.
Round 3 – ACT Test Prep
In addition to the SAT prep, we at Benedictine Tutors also provide test prep for our students with the ACT. Another question that arises is “How are the two different”? The answer is two-fold. For one, and aside from testing on math and verbal reasoning skills, the ACT will test a student’s knowledge of scientific thinking and analysis. The science section bears more merit for students to demonstrate their mastery. This is especially true if they are pursuing degrees that are more mechanical in nature. Secondly, most state funded colleges and universities will make taking the ACT a requirement in the application process.
Our advice, go ahead and make plans to take both to ensure all your bases are covered. Regarding test prep, we make this option both affordable and doable. When Benedictine Tutors students sign up for the SAT 6-week test prep session, they may take the ACT 6-week test prep session for HALF-OFF!
Round 4 – Practice Makes Perfect
Now let’s say you’ve done your homework. You have researched your options, have studied and prepped for both exams, and are currently waiting for test scores. Benedictine Tutors offers all students the opportunity to make a great score even better. With ongoing Test Prep Club hours, exclusive to our Katy, TX location, we extend our services for ongoing test prep support even after the exam has been taken. Although most of our students typically see between a 250 – 300 point increase in their scores, the extended hours we provide for additional practice provides the additional peace of mind in knowing our students are more than prepared for these high stakes testing.
For more information on how the SAT and ACT is structured, click here.