Is the ACT difficult?

For anyone who has taken the ACT, please give me insight into your experience. I would like to know what taking the ACT is like. I have taken a look at the topics on the ACT, and upon observation, it seemed like the ACT is not all that difficult of a test. However, I know that the test is very fast-paced in comparison to the SAT. Please share your insights!

I think there are certain aspects that are difficult, but it really depends on the person. I like the ACT because it has a science section, which is really more reading comprehension, a stronger suit or mine. The timing is fast, so you should definitely do some timed tests beforehand to get a sense of how long you have to spend on each question. I couldn’t finish the math (which may have more to do with my relative weakness in math than the timing) and I felt rushed for time on the last two questions of the science subtext, but English and Reading were not a problem. I am a fast reader though so it really depends on what your strengths are.

I would try a free timed practice test for both ACT and SAT and see which one you feel more comfortable with. Good luck!

@threesapphires23 Thanks for your question! You may be able to find your answer in this recent article from College Confidential, which covered this topic in depth. You can read it here:

My kid’s guidance counselor (who was experienced and excellent) said that typically 1/3 of students do better on the SAT, 1/3 of students do better on the ACT, and 1/3 of students do the same on both exams. I recommend you take timed practice tests for both the SAT and ACT and see how you do.

Agree with the above. My D said the ACT questions were easier (more straight forward) when practicing, but when she took an actual test, she thought the math was much harder. She ended up doing better on the SAT. It really depends on the kid. My friend’s 2 sons are both very smart; the one got a 35 on the ACT but couldn’t break 1300 on the SAT, while the other couldn’t get higher than a 27 on the ACT but got a 1400 his first try on the SAT. There’s no hard and fast rule.