Colleges accept both tests equally, so the choice is up to you! Here's what you need to know to compare the exams.

  SAT ACT
PURPOSE College use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships College use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships
STRUCTURE

Math, Reading, Writing/Language, optional essay

Math, Reading, English, Science, optional essay
LENGTH

3 hours (without essay)

2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay)
READING

5 reading passages

4 reading passages
SCIENCE

none

1 science section, testing critical thinking skills
MATH Covers:  Arithmetric, Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trigonometry and Data Analysis Covers:  Arithmetic, Algebra I & II, Geometry and Trigonometry
TOOLS

Some math questions don’t allow use of calculator

You can use a calculator on all math questions
ESSAYS Optional – tests your comprehension of a source text Optional – tests how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues
SCORE

Scored on a scale of 400-1600

Scored on a scale of 1-36
COST

$46; with optional essay $60

$46; with optional essay $62.50