Upcoming Sophomore in HS—should I focus on SAT or ACT based on practice test scores?

I’m going to be a sophomore next year, and I took two practice tests, one on KhanAcademy for the SAT and an official ACT practice test…

SAT: 1450 - 750 math, 700 Reading/Writing, but I was in a rush and finished all sections with at least 1/3 time left. Didn’t check answers. Honestly could have been over 1500 had I taken my time and gone back.

ACT: 33 Composite—33 ELA, 36 Math, 34 Reading, 28 Science. Never knew anything about the science section, was unprepared and unfamiliar with the format and the questions; if I redid this now I could probably get around a 33 on this section. Had at least ten minutes to spare on the other sections.

I’m typically a very fast test taker; the SAT was too slow paced for me and I didn’t feel like checking my work or going back because this was just a practice test…made stupid errors on the math section. But the ACT science is worrisome, although science is supposed to be one of my stronger subjects. I think I was just surprised by the format. Hopefully.

I want to focus on one or the other…

“I could have gotten…if only” is a dangerous game to play. You scored what you scored.

If you blew off taking the tests properly, and didn’t prepare by understanding what was on them, then I’d suggest not making any decisions based on the scores. Now that you know, take the tests again, trying to score as highly as possible, and then compare what you get. The SAT/ACT Concordance is online - most folks here will just look your scores up there and give you the advice you can find yourself.

I suggest taking the tests on paper, with a bubble score sheet, etc - like the real thing - not online.

(fwiw, ACT Science isn’t really Science).

To clarify one thing in the above post (which I very much agree with) you should be taking new tests you haven’t seen before. Once you do this, come back here and ask again. My instincts say SAT is better for you because you have more time to work with, but I withhold judgment until you retake.

@RichInPitt @TheSATTeacher I’ve decided to take the ACT…I enjoyed taking the test, whereas I really don’t like the format of the SAT test. I know it isn’t real science, I just wasn’t used to all the graphs and didn’t manage my time properly. I really don’t want to take another SAT practice test—it’s just too boring. I did take my ACT test on paper, but my SAT test on KhanAcademy.

You might to rethink the ACT first route. Remember you have the PSAT your fall junior year which gives you a shot at a National Merit Scholarship or at least some kind of recognition. The PSAT is much more like the SAT. You can always switch to the ACT if your PSAT score is disappointing. It’s not like your preparation for the SAT doesn’t also help your preparation for the ACT.