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Comparison of the SAT and ACT Tests

Most colleges accept both SAT and ACT test scores. Use this comparison of the two tests to decide which is best for your or your student.

  SAT I ACT
General Information
  • Test length: three hours (plus 50 minutes for optional essay)
  • Students can apply for and be granted up to 100% extended time
  • Two required sections (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math)
  • One optional section (essay)
  • Test length: three hours, 25 min
  • Students can apply for and be granted up to 50% extended time
  • Four required sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science)
  • Optional and recommended writing test.
Scores
  • Score in each subject area can range from 200–800
  • Total score range is from 400–1,600
  • Score of 6–24 for essay
  • Score of 1–36 for each test section
  • Composite score of 1–36 based on average score of the four test sections
Incorrect Answer
  • No deduction for incorrect answers
  • No deduction for incorrect answers
Content
  • Evidence Based-Reading and Writing
  • Math: Arithmetic Through Trigonometry (there is a "no calculator" section)
  • Reading Comprehension
  • English
  • Math: Arithmetic Through Trigonometry
  • Science
  • Optional Essay
Essay  
  • Optional
  • Last section of the test
  • Scored on Reading, Analysis, and Writing
  • Scored on a scale of 2–8 on each of these areas
  • Optional
  • Final section of the test
  • Not included in composite score
  • Topic is generally important to high school students
Notes  
  • Landmark  generally administers the SAT in fall of senior year and spring of  junior year.
  • Landmark will help submit documentation for testing accommodations but final decisions are made the College Board.
  • Landmark generally administers the ACT in fall of senior year and spring of junior year
  • Landmark will help submit documentation for testing accommodations but final decisions are made by the ACT.