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10 Reasons to take the ACT

Deciding between tests? Not sure which one is the one for you? Common knowledge of the differences between the SAT and ACT abound (the ACT is faster, the SAT doesn’t have a science section), but it can be hard to separate the fact from the fiction. As with anything we say, be sure to use this in conjunction with proper guidance counseling and a look at what works best for you individually.

1. It’s easier to improve your score because it’s more content dependent, i.e. you can learn the content and your score will go up.

2. True score choice (choosing who to send your reports to) is built into the ACT. Schools only see what you send because the score reports are stored separately from each other. On the SAT, all of them are stored under your student name/ID, so you have to actively suppress scores from schools if you don’t want to see them. Which leads me to my next reason…

3. You can remove your test records if you really don’t want colleges to see them.

4. The Science counts equally with the Math, so if AP Bio and Chem were strengths for you, this may be the best option.

5. The English portion is more grammar dependent on the ACT than the SAT,  so you can learn the grammar rules and improve your score more. For a free resource, see Meltzer’s blog (http://thecriticalreader.com/complete-sat-grammar-rules/), or purchase her Ultimate Guide to the ACT English.

6. The test is faster, which means the questions can’t possibly be as difficult as the SAT questions. This translates to an absolute necessity that the questions are inherently more straightforward.

7. Students scores tend to go up each time they take the test as concluded by ACT’s own research (see http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/2016-Tech-Brief-MultipleTesters.pdf).

8. Some schools still require the Subject Tests if you take the SAT, but not if you take the ACT.

9. There is a bigger “top tier.” If a 30 matches up to a 1390-1410 SAT score, then the “top tier” can be considered all the scores above that threshold. However, 30 sounds better! This is admittedly the worst reason on the list, but appearance of your score is a real thing.

10. The ACT Profile career matching tool is available for free on the website as part of the EOS, and has been said by several to be one of the best tools out there for determining future careers. (Although it looks like you can still use it for free even if you don’t sign up for an ACT.)

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