What’s the biggest difference between the SAT and the ACT?

What’s the biggest difference between the SAT and the ACT?

New SAT Notice: The content on this page refers to the Old SAT. For the most comprehensive information on the new test, we suggest you read our Guide to the New SAT or our guide ‘New SAT vs ACT’.

Both tests are actually remarkably similar. They test the same material and the same skills, with only a few exceptions (the ACT requires some slightly more advanced math, and the SAT requires vocabulary knowledge that the ACT does not). The biggest difference between the two tests comes down to style. The ACT is a blisteringly intense, fast paced, straightforward test of material. If you know your stuff, and you combine material knowledge with good timing and a few key strategies, you’ll do well. The SAT is more of a logical reasoning exam. The material on the test is actually much simpler, but it’s asked in confusing and tricky ways that do more to challenge your problem-solving skills. The ACT is a test of timing and material, whereas the SAT is a test of logical reasoning skills and problem solving.

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