Choosing to take the SAT or ACT

Most American universities don't have a preference for which exam you take - however you should check with the university itself for clarity. Below is a comparison of both the tests:

Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
Test Length 3 hours, 25 minutes 3 hours, 50 minutes (including optional 50-minute essay)
Test Sections 5 sections 3 sections
Science Content Tests science reasoning (analysis, interpretation, problem solving) Science not included
Math Content 25% of the overall score; entirely multiple choice 33% of overall score; trigonometry and fill-in questions
Essay Last section - optional Last section - optional
Scoring 3 scores of 1-36 per subject area
Writing score: 2-12
2 scores of 200-800 per section
Total: 1600
Guessing No penalty for wrong answers No penalty for wrong answers
Score History Students decide which score is sent A student's entire score history is sent (depending on university requirements).
Test Fee $46.00 (No Writing) + $47.50 Non-U.S. Regional Fee
$62.50 (Plus Writing) + $47.50 Non-U.S. Regional Fee
$43.00 + $40.00 Non-U.S. Regional Fee
$60.00 (With Essay) + $40.00 Non-U.S. Regional Fee
Register for the test (Please note students must register themselves for the test)

Many American universities accept both the SAT and ACT - but which one should YOU take?

Take our fun quiz below to find out if you should take the SAT, ACT or even both!

Next: Frequently asked questions