By now, most of you have probably heard about the SAT and the ACT. Ever since the Collegeboard cancelled the SAT exams in Egypt, the minister of education made it clear that the ACT exams would replace the SAT exams.
Most students were shocked and afraid of this decision since they’ve spent most of their time preparing for the SAT and then suddenly they’re told that they need to prepare for a totally new exam.
What students fail to recognize as soon as they’re told this news is that the ACT and the SAT exams aren’t that different. Both exams have many similarities and some differences. Today we will be discussing with you the differences and similarities between both exams.
The Science Section:
Most of you may have heard that the ACT has a science section, while the SAT does not. The science section in the ACT exam mostly depends on your reading & understanding of the English language. Some people may assume that the science section would need many hours of studying, but it actually only needs practicing.
The science section contains graph analysis and analyzing scientific passages. These scientific passages are very similar to the scientific passages in the reading section and in the writing section on the SAT.
In the ACT exams, the English and reading sections don’t have graphs and scientific analysis, while the SAT does. The science section is formed by 40 questions that should be answered in 35 minutes. Down below we inserted an example of how questions are in the ACT science section. As you can see below, you’re given a scientific passage and then you’re expected to answer questions about that passage.
The Number of Questions and Time Difference:
The number of questions in the ACT may be frightening to many students, but in reality, it isn’t that big of a difference.
The reading section is made up of 52 questions and should be answered in 65 minutes, while in the ACT reading section there are 40 questions that should be answered in 35 minutes.
The writing section is made up of 44 questions that should be answered in 35 minutes, while the ACT English section has 75 questions and should be answered in 35 minutes.
The SAT math calculator and no calculator sections combined are made up of 58 questions that should be answered in 80 minutes, while the math section in the ACT is made up of 60 questions in 60 minutes.
The number of questions in the English related sections may scare you, but the level of vocab and the level of questions in the ACT exam are slightly less intense than the level in the SAT exam.
The Math Section:
In the math section, there aren’t any huge differences. In the SAT exam, there are two math sections, one using a calculator and one without using a calculator but In the ACT exam, there is only one math section and it is answered using a calculator. The overall number of math questions in the ACT is very close to the number of questions in the SAT.
The Score Calculations:
The SAT and the ACT are very different when it comes to scoring. The SAT is out of 1600 and the ACT is out of 36. In the SAT, the English sections are out of 800 and the math sections are out of 800. In the ACT, each section is out 36 and then added together and divided by 4.
The price differs in both exams. The SAT exam costs around $100 if you live in Egypt, while the ACT charges you exactly $150. You can start booking your ACT starting in September, as there are test dates available in October.