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Are there benefits to taking both the ACT and SAT?

ZeldroZeldro Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
My school pushes the ACT over the SAT by a lot, and never even mentions the SAT.

I just took the PSAT and found it easier than the ACT by a lot. I also just liked it better in general. It's less stressful on time, and there's no science section. The ACT mentally drains me, but the PSAT was a walk in the park. I'm not saying I probably did perfect, because I probably didn't, but generally, I liked it better than the ACT.

I understand that the PSAT is a practice version of the SAT, meaning it's easier, and also qualifies students for national merit.

Still, I am starting to become more interested in the SAT.

I'm not 100% which colleges I want to go to - whether it be something in-state that anything above a 30 on the ACT could pay my way into, or a more selective school up north. As I said, where I live, ACT is preferred, but I'm not necessarily going to attend college around where I live.

I know both tests are accepted everywhere, but I want to know - are there any benefits for taking both? Not just 'trying out' the SAT and mainly focusing on my ACT score, but focusing equally on both at different parts of the year, dedicating time and effort into both exams. I am already confident in my ACT skills that I can reach a composite of a 30. My practice tests have been hovering in the 30-33 range, and the last schoolday ACT I took I felt very confident about. So, if I reach my target score of at least a 32/33, I could start focusing more on the SAT. Is this worth my time? Does taking both and doing good on both give me any advantages over just doing good on one?

Replies to: Are there benefits to taking both the ACT and SAT?

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 7,091 Senior Member
    If you prefer the SAT and get a score you are happy with, there is no reason to take the ACT. Colleges do not prefer one test over the other.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 17,123 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    If you get a good score in PSAT and qualified as NMSF, you will have to take SAT anyway. There are a few benefits in taking SAT in addition to ACT besides that.

    First, you will have more schedule options when you need to get a better score in either test.

    Second, you may perform better in one test over the other because of the sections and format difference.

    Third, if you are going to take/submit SAT2, the SAT1 score is included in the report without extra cost.

    Fourth, there are more schools that superscore SAT and there is only one fee to submit all/selected scores for that, while you need to pay for each test score for ACT even if the school do superscore them.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 7,091 Senior Member
    @billcsho that's very useful. I didn't know the SAT 2 report includes the SAT 1. What if you have a much better ACT than SAT 1 score, and maybe don't want colleges to see the SAT 1? Is it automatically included?

    OP, of course it looks good if you submit equally good scores from both tests. But that is more money and time to consider if you take both. Two good scores on different tests won't give you a boost over another kid only submitting one. Plenty of kids don't have the extra time, money, or inclination.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,731 Senior Member
    The PSAT is shorter and less grueling than the full SAT, and it assumes one year less of high school so it's a bit easier. Make sure you take a full SAT for practice before deciding which test is best for you. (Free download at satpractice.org)

    Once you decide, you really only need to do one, though.

    I had one kid do SAT and one do ACT. One advantage to the SAT is the great collection of free practice materials available.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 17,123 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    @Lindagaf One may choose to have SAT1 score included or not. Both my two D took each test once after thoroughly practiced in the summer before junior year, then the took the state mendated test (ACT for D1 and SAT for D2) in the second semester of junior year as the final test. Even they did get comparable practice scores in both tests, they did perform better in one test, but different one, at the end.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 17,123 Senior Member
    Actually my D1 took SAT twice before the state mandated ACT. With SAT, she got the low end of her final practice score range, but ACT at the high end of her practice score.
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