Facts about the SAT & ACT

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What’s the difference between the SAT and ACT?

Why Take ItColleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.
Test StructureReading Writing & Language Math Essay (Optional)English Math Reading Science Reasoning Essay (Optional)
Length3 hours (without essay) 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay) 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)
Reading5 reading passages4 reading passages
ScienceNone1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)
MathCovers: Arithmetic Algebra I & II Geometry, Trigonometry and Data AnalysisCovers: Arithmetic Algebra I & II Geometry, Trigonometry, and Probability & Statistics
Calculator PolicySome math questions don’t allow you to use a calculator.You can use a calculator on all math questions.
EssaysOptional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text.Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.
How It’s ScoredScored on a scale of 400–1600Scored on a scale of 1–36