The Tutoring Center, Houston TX (Memorial)

BLOG

06/08/2018
If you’re thinking about taking a standardized test to apply to college, you probably have many questions about which one to take. Here are some answers to the most common questions about the SAT and ACT.

Make an Informed Decision Before You Choose Your Standardized Test

If you plan on going to college, you’re most likely going to need to take a standardized test. It’s not an admission requirement for some colleges, but it is for the vast majority. You need to start thinking about taking the SAT or the ACT so you can submit your scores to your preferred school. The test you choose to take is completely up to you, but how can you pick one test over the other if you’re not sure what makes them so different? To help you make an informed decision and improve your chances of getting into your dream college, The Tutoring Center, Houston TX (Memorial) brings you what you need to know about the SAT and ACT.

How Are The SAT and the ACT Different?

The ACT is made up of five sections: English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, and an optional essay. On the other hand, the SAT has only four sections: Math, Reading, Writing and Language, and an essay. The two main differences between both tests are the Math and Science sections. The SAT doesn’t allow you to use a calculator, so if you can’t live without it, you’re better off taking the ACT. The science component that you will find on the SAT doesn’t measure your scientific knowledge but instead, your thinking skills on topics related to science, such as critical thinking and data analysis. You have a similar amount of time to spend taking each test. Students usually complete the SAT in three hours without the optional essay. If you do choose to complete the essay (which you should do), it will take you about 50 minutes more. The ACT takes around two hours and 55 minutes to complete, plus 35 minutes more if you choose to write the optional essay. So you’ll spend approximately four hours taking whichever test you choose. However, you should know that the ACT has more questions, so you will need to work faster. If you need to take your time and evaluate your options, you might be better suited for the SAT. The essay portion is another important difference between the two tests. The SAT essay focuses more on reading comprehension. You’ll need to prove that you understood the source text. The ACT essay will ask you to evaluate and analyze an issue. You will need to use your critical thinking skills to create your own argument.

Can I Take Both?

Some ambitious students choose to take both tests and submit the one with the higher score. However, this is not something recommended for everyone. If you’re preparing for both tests, you can’t really focus on the specific material that each test will have. It's better to choose one and give it your all when you’re preparing. It’s a great idea when you’re prepping for your test to get some tutoring help. The Tutoring Center, Houston TX (Memorial) has a fantastic SAT/ACT tutoring program to help you get a better test score. They also have an SAT/ACT foundations program in case you’re not ready to take the test yet, but you want to start preparing. You can call The Tutoring Center, Houston TX (Memorial) at (832) 486-9281 to learn more about their tutoring programs and schedule a free diagnostic assessment.

How Should I Choose Which Test to Take?

You’re the only one who can decide which test to take. You’ll need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and your preferences, of course. Still, here are some things you need to consider to help you make a better decision.
  • How you deal with pressure: If you don’t do well under pressure and need to take your time analyzing each question, you’ll probably do better on the SAT. Alternatively, if you thrive under pressure, the ACT might be better for you.
  • Critical thinking skills: The ACT is better suited for students with good critical thinking and data analysis since you will be using them greatly in the Science section and on the optional essay as well.
  • Mental math skills: Are you OK with crunching numbers without a calculator? You have to be if you expect to do well on the SAT.
  • Test centers: There are various test centers for each test all over the country, but maybe not close to where you live. You need to consider the distance from the test center to your home. It’s possible that you might have to travel out of town to take it. You can learn more about the requirements at their official websites. Learn more about the SAT here and about the ACT on this site.

Need Help Preparing for the SAT or the ACT?

It’s better to choose one test so you can focus on mastering its content. The Tutoring Center, Houston TX (Memorial) has an excellent SAT/ACT prep program. Once you enroll you'll get personalized attention and tips on how to take your standardized test. You can call them at (832) 486-9281 to learn more about their program and their other tutoring options.

FREE CONSULTATION

Schedule your Free Diagnostic Assessment Today!
SCHEDULE ASSESSMENT!
Learn more about 
THE TUTORING CENTER
on the national website: