The answer to this question is not simple, and anyone who tells you unequivocally one exam is better than the other is misinformed. The reason for this is that each exam is different and every student reacts differently to the format of each exam. Just because, for example, the ACT is offered in school – does not mean it is the best college entrance exam for the student. The same is also true the other way around.
The SAT exam contains a No Calculator math section – the ACT does not. The ACT Exam contains a science section – the SAT does not. The timing allotted for each section between the two exams varies greatly with the ACT being more restrictive on timing than the SAT. For students who struggle with timing – the ACT can be very challenging.
Both the SAT and ACT are accepted equally. Students who do well on one usually – but not always – score similarly on the other. There are exceptions to this and that usually happens when a student feels, particularly, more comfortable with one exam over the other.
Here in North Carolina, common consensus from everyday conversation is that the ACT is a better exam. Again, that is not always the case, as each student will form their own opinion when properly introduced to both formats.
How should the student decide? Simple! Come to the Resource Room and schedule a diagnostic assessment using an actual released SAT and ACT and sit for the entire exam. We usually encourage students to take both and see which one they feel more comfortable with, and evaluate which score was higher. Students who want to try both are encouraged to come for one exam on a Saturday and another on the following Saturday – this provides a much needed respite after a 3-hour exam.
We will then evaluate the results, using the actual curve for that released exam and provide both parents and students with an accurate assessment of their performance.
How do I sign up for SAT/ACT Prep, and what types of tutoring options are offered at Resource Room?
We generally recommend calling and booking a consultation. Consultations are free of charge and during that meeting we will ask you several questions to learn about your strengths, weaknesses, academic history, and goals. We will then guide you as to the best approach moving forward. We offer private one-on-one tutoring throughout the year and we have two group classes: January and August. The group class schedule may change based on the exam dates issued by the College Board and ACT. We offer multiple sections on various days and times and we have an online student login with access to materials, lessons, and quizzes. How you proceed should be based on what you need and what score you are ultimately aiming for. SAT and ACT prep is not a “one size fits all,” every student is unique and their approach to SAT/ACT should be tailored to their individual needs.