Preferred by Both Colleges and/or Students: ACT or SAT?

I’m applying for transfers next year and although standardized testing is not as considered for transfer applicants than it is for HS students (and in rare case–not required to submit), but I’d very much like to take one of these exams, as I know it will fortify my application and help with scholarships. Also, for the career field I am perusing, firms frequently inquire about standardized testing scores. I took the SAT once in the beginning of my junior year of HS, completely unprepared, and received a 1930 (old 2400 scale). I registered for the Feb. 10th ACT; however, my mom was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and incidentally, had an operation this past Wednesday. Also, I am taking 21 credits (includes taking an advanced math course completely unrequired by my program at a nearby CC), have EC obligations, and have an anxiety disorder/ADHD.

So, I registered for the ACT (for official date and payed) on the very last day of late registration, but my school official (chair of disability resources) was out of town and all materials were “required” to be in by last Friday at 11:59 p.m. My school official only needed to create a TSS account to confirm my disabilities/current situation and request that I take the test on March 4th, 2018, the last day of the accommodation period. I emailed nearly every department at ACT, but they’re closed on weekends. I greatly detailed that my school official was having technical issues with the site and could not register me, although I waited until the last day to do this. Do you think they will still accept my materials and request, since I plan to submit everything in-person tomorrow with my school official and email them as soon as the accommodations office opens? It’s not as if they work or review any materials on the weekend, so if I get it in at opening, I should be good (I think).

I studied daily for about a month and have received 36s on two sections (but never more than one section on one exam) except Science and English. Regardless of whether or not they still accept my materials or give me a refund, should I take the SAT in March, which is the last acceptable standardized testing date for my schools. I believe the SAT is more popular, but is it easier and more “legitimate” or “established” than the ACT. Also, you aren’t permitted to use a calculator capable of solving algebraic equations (TI-89), while the SAT does. Regardless, I haven’t been able to study for 3 weeks due to my mom’s illness, so transitioning should be easy, especially since I studied more for the old SAT previously. What has exactly changed since the alteration in terms of difficulty?

Ultimately, which exam is more advantageous in terms of the following factors:
-Held with higher esteem from elite universities, like Ivys
-Amount of students who take one exam over the contrary
-Overall difficulty (less difficult)

Ultimately, if I am granted the accommodation to take the ACT on March 4th (no extra time, as I requested; just an extended date, not Feb. 10th) vs. registering for the SAT on March 10th, which should I chose. My studying of the ACT will surely help with the SAT, but I will need to begin to study for that immediately and adjust my testing strategies (which aren’t that developed, anyway). I also would get get a refund for accommodations and late ACT registration, saving me money. What would you do if you had the following options?

P.S. Are exceptional scores on the SAT viewed in a better light by colleges than exceptional ACT scores? For example, would one rather get a 35-36 or a 2300-2400 (*Sorry! Not familiar with new scale-- 1500-1600 or 1550-1600?) (consider perfect score option as a well) for greater admissions chances?


They are equally regarded. Taking the test as college student is not how it was intended to be, I’m not sure how much of bump retaking ANY test will give you.

Taking it as a high school student is much easier. You are currently learning the material or have recently finished learning the material that’s on the exam. Also, much more time is emphasized/can be invested into studying for these exams (school-sponsored PSATS, for example) than in college. Lastly, only four of the words in your response were pertinent to the question. I’ve already contacted most of the colleges I’m applying to, and I’m encouraged to retake these exams if I could receive a higher score. They are still considered by admissions and even some employers.

Well then maybe it’s a good idea for you to use the search function on this site to find the answer to the question as many others have given the same response. Including @Lindagaf who does test prep for a living.

In another post you mentioned that you have a 34 on the ACT, which you did not mention above. If you really think moving from a 34 to a 35 or 36 as a sophomore in COLLEGE is going to be additive to your application, you are mistaken.

The ACT and SAT are aptitude tests, not content tests (saying that they are easier in high school is also misinformed). Employers could care less about your standardized test scores.

No college favors one test over the other. Both tests are difficult in their own way.

Read the link in the post above. What I said in post 14 of that thread still applies. And I have never heard of an employer asking about a standardized test score, but maybe someone out there does. I don’t see as point in a current college student retaking a test, unless it is considered for scholarship purposes.

34 equivalent*

If you have a 34 already then you are definitely wasting your time and energy.