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SAT vs ACT

CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1056 replies100 threads Senior Member
Is it easier to score higher on ACT? It looks like there is an abundance of 34,35,36 on CC threads but not as many 1560+. Also less SAT exam takers seems to score high on single attempt.
edited January 28
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Replies to: SAT vs ACT

  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1956 replies32 threads Senior Member
    edited January 28
    A 1560 is the very top of the concordance to a 35. A 34 goes down to 1490.

    So yes, there will be many more 34+ than 1560+

    If you’re looking to compare, use 34+ and 1490+.

    But that’s what the two companies have already done - basically the definition of the concordance. The percentage of students at each equated score are as close as they can get.

    A student’s particular way of thinking may allow him/her to score higher on one than the other. But in aggregate, a student at a specific percentile capability related to the overall population should score at matching levels on the concordance for the two tests.

    In short, no.
    edited January 28
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80236 replies720 threads Senior Member
    It is also worth noting that a 36 ACT corresponds to four possible SAT scores (1570, 1580, 1590, 1600), and that the ACT composite is a rounded average (so a 36 ACT composite does not require 36 in every section), but the SAT total is a sum (so a 1600 SAT requires an 800 in both sections).

    So, for a student who does equally well in ACT and SAT and could potentially hit the maximum score, doing so on the ACT is likely to be a bit easier. But this may only matter if trying for something where a maximum score is needed, such as the Presidential Elite scholarship at the University of Alabama.
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1056 replies100 threads Senior Member
    Conclusion: Its tougher to score a 1600 than a 36?
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  • MWolfMWolf 2087 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2
    Conclusion: Its tougher to score a 1600 than a 36?

    It is less likely. Whether it is tougher depends on which year's test and the testee. Some people find SATs to be easier for them than ACTs, and for people like that, it is possible that scoring a perfect SAT score is easier than making a few mistakes in the ACT test.

    However, since most kids who take ACTs and SATs take the test which is easier for them, it is generally easier for the ACT takers to get a 36 than it is for the SAT takers to get a 1600.
    edited February 2
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  • BenniesMom1BenniesMom1 101 replies3 threads Junior Member
    It totally depends on the student. My son, who, in his own words, "sucks at Math" WOULD do better on the ACT vs the SAT because the Math counts for 25% of the total composite. On the SAT, it's 50% so if you bomb Math, on ACT, you still have a 75% chance of doing well. On the SAT, 50%. His SAT scores won't get him where he wants to go but his ACT scores did !
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  • TheSnakeFangTheSnakeFang 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Personally I would recommend the ACT, as getting a 36 composite is much easier than a 1600 SAT (Mine was rounded up from a 35.5 average to a 36). However, some people find the SAT much easier to do. If one test becomes easier colleges will figure that out pretty fast and raise their bar anyways so it comes down to personal preference in the end.
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