What Do the SAT and ACT Exams Consist Of?
The SAT and ACT are essential standardized tests for students seeking admission to colleges and universities in the United States.
The SAT consists of three sections:
- Writing and Language
The ACT includes four sections:
SAT questions are often lengthier and require critical thinking, while ACT questions are more straightforward and demand conceptual clarity. The SAT has two mathematics sections (one with a calculator and one without), and formulas are provided. Learn more about the test format at Seven Square Learning.
How Often Are the SAT and ACT Conducted Each Year?
The SAT takes place seven times a year in the US and five times internationally. The ACT is held six times a year. Students can take the SAT any number of times, although we recommend at least twice to maximize superscoring.
Subject Content: SAT vs. ACT
The key difference between the SAT and ACT is the inclusion of a Science section in the ACT. This section tests students’ critical thinking and analytical skills. The general content for both exams includes:
- Data Analysis
- Sentence Structure
There is no defined syllabus for these exams. Major topics are typically covered in high school, and consistent practice leads to better results.
Popular FAQs About the SAT and ACT
How Do I Choose Which Exam to Take?
The choice depends on the student. Generally, students take the ACT first, as the questions are more straightforward and the test format is familiar. It is recommended to take practice tests before deciding. Students strong in English often prefer the ACT, while those with a math inclination may opt for the SAT. However, this is an important decision so multiple other factors should be considered before choosing the right test.
When Should I Take the SAT or ACT?
Exams can be taken at any point during high school. Students usually attempt their first test in the autumn of their junior year. The highest score from multiple attempts is considered. With various test dates, students should take the exams multiple times to improve their scores.
SAT “Super-Scoring” and How It Affects Your Scores
“Super-scoring” combines the highest scores from each section across multiple attempts. For instance, if a student scores 800 in Math and 650 in Reading and Writing in one attempt, and 750 in Math and 700 in Reading and Writing in another, their final SAT scores will be 800 in Math and 700 in Reading and Writing. Most universities consider superscores for admissions.
Preparing for SAT and ACT with Seven Square Learning
At Seven Square Learning, our unique and proven tutoring process consistently improves students’ SAT scores by 200+ points and ACT scores by 6+ points. We offer a well-structured, tailored four-month plan for students, focusing on:
- Diagnostic review
- Concept drills and practice tests
- Time-management strategies
- Mindset coaching
- Test-taking tips
Discover more about our tutoring process and how it sets us apart from other tutoring companies.
By following this comprehensive guide, students and parents can better understand the SAT and ACT exams, enabling informed decisions and effective preparation for a successful college admissions journey.