The Benefits of the ACT

By  Layton Funk

Published on  October 24, 2017

Ask any high schooler what test they are taking for college admissions and they will either say SAT or ACT – and though the SAT and the ACT are similar in many ways, they differ in some big ways as well. Here we will discuss what differentiates the tests and why the ACT might be a better option for you than the SAT.

The History of Both

The SAT tends to be the more popular option (most likely due to its being around since its creation in 1926, whereas the ACT was enacted in 1959) of the two even though both tests are widely accepted at all colleges across the country. A few decades ago, there was a strange phenomenon happening in the United States where people trying to get into a school on the East or West coast would only take the SAT, and those trying to get into schools in the Midwest areas would only take the ACT. Though this occurred, it was never official or mandatory.

Benefits of ACT over SAT

Though both tests cover cumulative learning and span multiple subjects, the two have some real differences as well. If you’re a fast-paced learner, a quick reader, and need a calculator to excel at math, then the ACT is perfect for you! On the ACT, you have less time per question than you do on the SAT, which some people might prefer as it helps the testing process go quicker, and it tends to mean that the questions are more straight forward and don’t have you wondering what exactly the question is asking for. The passages in the reading section are also an average of a 9th grade reading level, which gives the passages more simplicity and makes them easier to read. A major benefit of the ACT is that on the math section, you can use your calculator! This is often a relief to students because the problems can be daunting and having your calculator there for backup can put your brain at ease. The ACT also has a science section that covers basic things like how to read graphs and data tables – but doesn’t cover any specific area of science, despite its misleading name.

Registration, Deadlines, and Test Dates

After reading through all the differences between the two tests, if you feel like the ACT might be a better fit for you, here is a table with all the information you need regarding the upcoming test dates! Good luck on whichever test you choose, and we hope you do your best!

Register by: To take this test: And get results by:
September 22nd, 2017 October 28th, 2017 November 14th to January 2nd
November 3rd, 2017 December 9th, 2017 December 19th to February 2nd
January 12th, 2018 February 10th, 2018 February 21st to April 6th
March 9th, 2018 April 14th, 2018 April 24th to June 8th
May 4th, 2018 June 9th, 2018 June 19th to August 3rd
June 15th, 2018 July 14th, 2018 July 24th to August 27th