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How to beat the system: Comparison of SAT/ACT and Studying Tips

masterodisastermasterodisaster Posts: 14Registered User New Member
SAT - east/west coast
ACT - midwest

You will need:
SAT
1) good vocab - this is a MUST; if you dont have this, your reading score is capped at about 650 - yes, you WILL have to learn that word list in that prep book =p
2) fast worker (the time constraints are heavier than in act)
3) good essay writer

ACT
1) ability to stay focused (the questions are in general easier, so your guard might slip, and it IS longer, after all)
2) fast reading speed (for science section)

In my opinion, the ACT is easier, but play to your strengths and pick whichever test is easier for you. Also remember that the majority of east/west-coast schools ask for the SAT, and that the majority of midwest schools ask for the ACT. I'm not sure if it's an advantage to submit the one they ask for, or disadvantage to not - you may want to find this out.

Prep:
SAT
1) Princeton Review prep book
2) old SATII writing book (for essay practice)
3) if u have the money to spare, bostontestprep.com

ACT
1) practice tests from 'the official act guide' by collegeboard

Sorry I don't have more advice about the ACT, i never really devoted myself to studying for it. Oh, wait. The science section on the ACT: You will either need an insanely high reading speed, a very fast comprehension of the main details, or both. It's easy to get bogged down because the questions seem more complex than they are, but in the end they all boil down to common sense. I remember the science section was the one i was really worried about, because having enough time to check your answers (all of them) is near impossible.

As a final piece of advice, whenever you even GUESS on a question on a practice exam, mark it off and consider it wrong. That way, you'll look at the answer later and fully understand it. Getting an extra problem right during a practice test is meaningless - what matters is do you fully understand it THIS time so you will always get the same type of problem right in the future.

And if you have a low writing score, don't sweat it too much. The MC section is actually rather easy after you learn the grammar rules in princeton review and apply them at bostentestprep.com. You'll find in the future that you will be far more concerned about your essay, which is rather unstable. (take it from me - 11 on the SAT essay and 8 on the ACT essay one week later =.=")

Hope this helps, and happy studying.
Post edited by masterodisaster on

Replies to: How to beat the system: Comparison of SAT/ACT and Studying Tips

  • reloadedxpreloadedxp Posts: 748Registered User Member
    any tips for the reading section m8?
  • MrPrezMrPrez Posts: 585Registered User Member
    Only thing I did to improve my reading section was to do as MANY practice tests as possible
  • masterodisastermasterodisaster Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    for the reading section, i recommend reading through the passage completely (if you're a fast reader, this is a yes for sure) It helps to get the big idea early on. If you're just picking and choosing which questions you want to answer, you won't really understanding what's going on during the mood/inference questions, meaning you'll end up wasting more time rereading.

    And always approach things skeptically, when you have an answer, don't just immediately pick it. Look at every other choice and build evidence proving to yourself that the answer you chose has the highest chance of being correct.
  • lazydoglazydog Posts: 328Registered User Member
    "SAT - east/west coast
    ACT - midwest"

    wat about the south, ACT fo sho. I took the SAT in jackson Ms and they called it the sat(pronounced like the past tense of sit) test. I said "dis is da SAT", they said "no this is the sat(pt of sit) test." aint nobody down here care bout no SAT.
  • WantIvyWantIvy Posts: 489Registered User Member
    I beg to differ on the SAT being more time constrained. The ACT actually gives less time overall for the amount of work. You have to be pretty fast in everything you do, whereas you usually have over 1 min per question on the SAT. Not to mention you can really take your time on SAT reading sections while spend hardly any on the ACT.
  • lazydoglazydog Posts: 328Registered User Member
    could somebody post a link to a conversion site for act scores to sat scores and vice versa. or comment on my thread.
  • YodaDaCodaYodaDaCoda Posts: 134Registered User Junior Member
    I agree. I live in Louisiana and SAT Test packets ain't even offered around here. It's all about the ACT. We did take the PSAT though, a select few who were chosen by the people to take it.
  • protestthehero91protestthehero91 Posts: 74Registered User Junior Member
    I agree with WantIvy. I've heard quite a few people say that SAT is more time constrained but I feel the opposite. I had atleast 5 minutes left on every test for SAT (almost 10 minutes for a few), but I barely finished math and science on the ACT and had hardly any time left on the other sections.

    I live in Oklahoma and, surprisingly, most people care about the SAT and ACT quite evenly. Which is strange because most colleges in the area look more meticulously at the ACT.
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