There was a time when being a student was easier and simpler and decisions were fewer. If you lived on the east or west coasts, you simply took the SAT. If you were applying to a select group of 100 or so schools, you also took the SAT Subject Tests (formerly referred to as Achievement Tests, then later as SAT–IIs). If you lived anywhere else, you took the ACT. But then the world’s axis began to shift. On both coasts family after family, filled with discontent bordering on anger over the perceived “unfairness” or gamesmanship of the SAT, or searching for an alternative measure of their students’ abilities, sought diligently and assiduously for “The One” that would replace it. As it turned out, that test already existed. It was the ACT.
Five Misconceptions About the ACT
- The ACT is easier than the SAT.
- The ACT does not have an Essay Section.
- The ACT English Test tests you on the rules of grammar.
- The ACT Science Test requires specific scientific knowledge.
- The ACT is preferred by Midwest colleges
- The ACT is better for some than for others. One thing is for sure: the Reading Test and Science Test are extremely hard to complete within the time allowed.
- The ACT has an Essay Section and it comes at the end of the test. The score is not, however, figured into either the English Test score or the overall ACT score.
- The ACT does not test you on your knowledge of the rules of grammar; it tests you on your ability to identify correct and incorrect grammar. You do not need to know the rules, or reasons that answers are correct or incorrect.
- The ACT Science Test questions are mostly categorized as “data interpretation” questions. You don’t need any specific scientific knowledge, but you do have to know how to identify and interpret information found in graphs, charts and paragraphs.
- ACT and SAT are now equally acceptable to virtually every college in the country.