The TestRocker team recently sat down with Carisa Rogers of Good N Crazy blog to answer questions and share some SAT and ACT study tips. Below please find a few snippets from our feature:
Which test is best for my busy kid? SAT vs ACT?
Both tests require time to prepare. The choice of which test to take really depends on your child’s strengths and weaknesses in test taking.The challenge with the SAT is that questions are not straightforward and there is an emphasis on vocabulary. While the language of ACT questions is more straightforward, the volume of questions is hard to complete in the allotted time.
The SAT requires an essay, while this component is optional on the ACT. However many universities require the writing component on the ACT as well, so be sure to check before you opt out of the ACT essay.
The ACT is an opportunity to showcase more analytical skills with the added science and math components, while the SAT has an emphasis on vocabulary and English skills.
ACT has 215 questions plus an optional essay and the SAT has 140 questions plus a required essay.
These are all details to consider for your child and can impact the amount of time he/she spends preparing and getting to a level where they feel comfortable going in to take the test. TestRocker recommends attempting both tests – you never know which test you end up scoring better on! Don’t take the SAT more than 3 times, and the ACT more than twice.
How many times should my kid plan to take one or both tests?
SAT should be taken a max of 3 times (1st attempt: Jan or March of junior year. 2nd attempt: March or May/June. 3rd attempt: October of senior year)
ACT should be taken a max of 2 times (1st attempt: Feb or April. 2nd attempt: June or September)
My Daughter has taken the PSAT twice. How does it compare to the real deal and what can we learn from her score?
The PSAT is basically an indicator of your readiness for the SAT as well as college. However know that with preparation, you can definitely get a higher SAT score.What’s different between the SAT and PSAT?
- Essay: Although you didn’t have to write an essay on the PSAT, the SAT essay section counts for 1/3 of your Writing score.
- Duration: The PSAT is 2 hours & 10 minutes while the SAT is 3 hours & 45 minutes.
- Number of Sections:
- Mathematics: PSAT – 2, SAT – 3
- Writing: PSAT – 1, SAT – 3 (including the Essay)
- The SAT also has 1 experimental section (you won’t know which section is experimental) that doesn’t count towards your score.
- Difficulty Level: SAT Math is a bit tougher than PSAT Math. It includes more Algebra II material.
Image Source: Good N Crazy Blog