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SAT & ACT

The SAT and ACT are an important part of a student's college admissions journey. The tests play a significant role in whether your student will be accepted to their top choices. Stone Ridge Prep will help your student maximize their score to achieve their academic goals. The SAT and ACT require a solid foundation and awareness of test-taking strategies. With our help, your student will achieve success.

Which test should your student take?

The subtle differences between the SAT and ACT can make it hard to determine the best test for your child. That's where we come in. We're here to help you find out which test is the best fit. Stone Ridge Prep has the skills to guide your student through the concepts and strategies they will need for success.

Similarities between SAT & ACT

  • Spectrum of difficulty based on high school subjects

  • Contain Reading, Math and Grammar (SAT Writing and ACT English) sections

  • Can be taken online or at test centers

  • Neither test has a penalty for guessing

  • Both tests are widely accepted by U.S. colleges

Differences between SAT & ACT

  • Calculator is allowed for the entire Math section of the ACT

  • ACT has an optional essay

  • Section scores are balanced on the ACT

  • ACT sections are no longer than one hour

  • ACT has a separate science section

  • SAT provides math formulas

ACT

The ACT has four multiple choice sections — English, Math, Reading, and Science. The essay section is optional, but some colleges may require it. The exam takes two hours and 55 minutes.

 

The English section is 45 minutes to answer 75 passage-based questions on editing and grammar.

The Math section is 60 minutes for 60 questions. You can use a calculator.

The Reading section is 35 minutes for 40 questions on passages including literature, social studies, humanities and natural science.

The Science section is 35 minutes for 40 passage-based questions.

The essay question is an analysis of a complex issue presenting three perspectives. The scoring categories are ideas and analysis, development and support, organization and language use and conventions. Two readers will score on a scale of one to six based on these categories. The essay score is the sum of the readers’ scores, which would be between two to twelve points. The exam provides 40 minutes to complete the essay, which makes the test three hours and 40 minutes long.

The ACT score is the composite, or average, of the four section scores. The composite score ranges from one to 36. The section scores are also scored out of 36. All scores from the same test date will be reported together. Some colleges use superscoring, which is using your highest section scores from multiple tests to make up your highest composite score.

Find out more information on the SAT and on the ACT.

*SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which is not affiliated with this website. The ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which is not affiliated with this website.

SAT

The SAT has two sections — Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math. The Essay section will no longer be a part of the SAT. The exam takes three hours. The Evidence-Based reading and writing section contains the reading and writing and language tests. The reading test consists of a range of passages, such as literature, U.S. Founding documents, social science and two science passages. You have 65 minutes to complete 52 questions. The writing test consists of passages that test editing and grammar knowledge. You have 35 minutes to complete 44 questions.

 

The math section consists of Grid-In and multiple choice questions that are divided into calculator and no-calculator sections. Grid-In questions do not provide possible answer choices. The exam tests algebra, data analysis, geometry and trigonometry topics. You have 80 minutes to complete 58 questions. The SAT has no penalty for guessing.

The SAT score is a composite score consisting of the section scores. The composite score is a range from 400 to 1600, and the section score is a range from 200 to 800. Note that the reading and writing and language tests make up the evidence-based reading and writing section score. All scores from the same test date will be reported together.

 

There are various ways that universities will look at your scores. The Score Choice program allows you to send scores from the test dates that you want colleges to see. However, not all universities participate in the Score Choice program. They may want to see the scores from all your attempts. Furthermore, some colleges use superscoring, which is using your highest section scores from multiple tests to make up your highest composite score.