SAT and ACT Information

SAT or ACT? Do you know which test is right for you?

Colleges accept both tests equally, so the choice is up to you! Here's what you need to know to compare the exams.

  SAT ACT
Why Take It

Colleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.

Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.

Test Structure
  • Math

  • Reading

  • Writing and Language

  •  

Essay (Optional)
  • Math

  • Reading

  • English

  • Science

Essay (Optional)
Length
  • 3 hours (without essay)

  • 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)

  • 2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay)

  • 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)

Reading

5 reading passages

4 reading passages

Science

None

1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)

Math Covers:
  • Arithmetic

  • Algebra I & II

  • Geometry, Trigonometry and Data Analysis

Covers:
  • Arithmetic

  • Algebra I & II

  • Geometry and Trigonometry

Tools

Some math questions don't allow you to use a calculator.

You can use a calculator on all math questions.

Essays

Optional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text.

Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.

How It's Scored

Scored on a scale of 400–1600

Scored on a scale of 1–36



Financial assistance through fee waivers are available from the Counseling Office for both the SAT and ACT. 

Related Links


  • SAT Information
    Link to all the resource available from The College Board, including SAT, test prep, college searching, financial aid, and more.

  • ACT Information
    Link to all the resource available from ACT, including ACT exam, test prep, college searching, financial aid, and more.