What is the Distinction In Between the ACT, SAT, and PSAT, and Which Do You Required?

The majority of high school trainees understand that their ratings on standardized tests can affect their capability to enter into their chosen college. Nevertheless, because there are a lot of alternatives– consisting of the ACT, SAT, and PSAT– it can be tough to find out which ones they require to take. This is particularly real because all of those examinations have several things in typical.

In truth, doing an SAT vs ACT or SAT vs PSAT contrast isn’t about discovering a “winner.” Rather, your trainee requires to consider their objectives, the choices of their target colleges, and a couple of other points prior to deciding. To make that much easier, here’s what your trainee requires to learn about these examinations.

What is the ACT Test?

The American College Screening (ACT) college preparedness evaluation is an entryway test. Institution of higher learnings evaluate the test ratings of trainees to identify if they have adequate understanding to do well in school.

In addition, it acts as a contrast point in between various candidates. Considering that the ACT is standardized, colleges can utilize it to see how trainees determine up versus each other when choosing who to confess.

What Sections Remain In the ACT?

The ACT has 4 primary areas and one optional area. The primary parts consist of:

  • English
  • Checking Out
  • Mathematics
  • Science

If your trainee picks, they can take part in an optional essay area. It enables colleges to get more information about your trainee’s composing capabilities.

While the ACT composing test isn’t needed to take part in the remainder of the test, that does not suggest your trainee should not take it. Some colleges demand composing area ratings from candidates, and might rule out trainees who do not have one to send.

Standardized test scores can impact your ability to get into college. Here's a look at the ACT, SAT, and PSAT and which ones you need.

For How Long is the ACT?

The ACT is either 2 hours and 55 minutes long, or 3 hours and 35 minutes long, depending upon whether your trainee chooses to participate in the essay part.

How is the ACT Scored?

Every part of the ACT is scored utilizing a 1 to 36 point scale, with 36 being the greatest rating possible in an area. The 4 primary area ratings are balanced to develop your trainee’s composite ACT rating.

If your trainee participates in the composing area, they will get a different 1 to 36 rating for that sector. It is not factored into the composite ACT rating.

new sat vs old sat

When Should You Take the ACT?

The majority of trainees take the ACT throughout the spring of their junior year in high school and the fall of their senior year in high school. By taking the FUNCTION AS a junior the very first time, your trainee has time to get involved once again if they aren’t delighted with their test rating or feel they can do much better.

Nevertheless, that does not suggest your trainee can just get involved at those times. More youthful trainees are enabled to take the ACT, and elders can take the test beyond the fall term of their in 2015 in high school. However, if a senior waits too long, they may not get their ratings back in time to fulfill college application due dates, so it is necessary to keep that in mind when picking test dates.

The ACT is readily available nationally in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July. Nevertheless, not all test centers use the very same dates, so your trainee will require to see what is readily available in your area well ahead of time to make certain they can get their ratings back in time.

What is the SAT?

The Scholastic Evaluation Test (SAT)– previously called the Scholastic Ability Test– is another basic college entryway test. Like the ACT, the SAT is indicated to identify your trainee’s preparedness for college and to develop an easy method to compare trainees’ abilities to choose who is confessed.

What Areas are on the SAT?

The SAT is divided into 2 primary areas and one optional area. The primary parts consist of:

Like the ACT, there is an optional essay part that enables your trainee to display their composing abilities.

While the composing sector isn’t necessary to take the core part of the SAT, some colleges do need those ratings from candidates. Your trainee ought to think about getting involved, especially if their favored school thinks about that score a requirement for admission.

For How Long is the SAT?

The primary SAT test takes 3 hours. If your trainee likewise finishes the essay part, the whole test will take 3 hours and 50 minutes.

new sat vs act

How is the SAT Scored?

Each area of the SAT gets a rating. The most affordable rating a trainee can have on a single part is 200, while 800 is the greatest. Your trainee’s primary SAT rating integrates the mathematics and English ratings, producing an overall in between 400 and 1600.

If your trainee finishes the essay area, they will get a different rating for that part, likewise on the 200 to 800- point scale.

When Should You Take the SAT?

The majority of trainees take the SAT as juniors throughout the spring and elders in the fall. That method, they have an opportunity to provide it a minimum of 2 shots and still get their ratings in time for college applications.

Nevertheless, some trainees take the SAT previously or later on in their high school professions, as there is no particular grade-related requirement to receive the test.

Every year, the SAT is provided in August, October, November, December, March, Might, and June all throughout the nation.

What is the PSAT?

The Initial SAT (PSAT) isn’t a college entryway test. Rather, it is utilized to prepare trainees for the ACT or SAT, basically providing an opportunity to experience a comparable test.

Plus, it is a National Benefit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Trainees who carry out well on the PSAT may get cash for college for simply accomplishing a high rating.

What Areas remain in the PSAT?

The PSAT has 2 areas:

For How Long is the PSAT Examination?

In overall, the PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes long.

act vs sat scores

How is the PSAT Scored?

Each area on the PSAT is scored on a 160- to 760- point scale. The area ratings are then combined, with the greatest possible rating being an integrated 1520.

When Should You Take the PSAT?

Most of the times, sophomores or juniors take the PSAT. It is just provided as soon as a year, in October, and your trainee’s school generally figures out which classes are qualified to get involved.


If your trainee is questioning what is the distinction in between the ACT and SAT, the most apparent differentiator is the science area on the ACT. Nevertheless, there are a couple of other locations where the 2 tests aren’t precisely alike.

For instance, the SAT relies more on proof and content-based concerns and multi-step analytical than the ACT does. Some trainees might feel that the ACT is a bit more simple, making it much easier to find out what the concern is asking. However that does not suggest the issues are much easier to address, as they evaluate the very same abilities that are inspected throughout the SAT.

Otherwise, when it pertains to material, the 2 examinations are exceptionally comparable. Plus, they take around the very same quantity of time to finish and utilize like formats, relying greatly on multiple-choice with just a few exceptions beyond the essay sectors.

ACT to SAT Conversion

It is possible to compare a trainee’s rating on one test to ratings in another. ACT/SAT Concurrence Tables are released by the College Board(the company behind the SAT) in addition to the ACT.

Considering that there are less possible composite ACT rating overalls than SAT overalls, each ACT rating equates to an SAT variety. Here’s a take a look at the ACT to SAT conversion:

36 1570-1600
35 1530-1560
34 1490-1520
33 1450-1480
32 1420-1440
31 1390-1410
30 1360-1380
29 1330-1350
28 1300-1320
27 1260-1290
26 1230-1250
25 1200-1220
24 1160-1190
23 1130-1150
22 1100-1120
21 1060-1090
20 1030-1050
19 990-1020
18 960-980
17 920-950
16 880-910
15 830-870
14 780-820
13 730-770
12 690-720
11 650-680
10 620-640
9 590-610

While this ACT to SAT conversion chart will provide you a concept of how ball games relate, it’s important to comprehend that trainees who take both examinations may wind up with ratings that do not line up specifically. Every test experience is various, so some level of variation might definitely happen.

act to sat conversion


When comparing the SAT vs PSAT, the primary distinction is the function of the test. The PSAT is developed to prepare trainees for the SAT and, possibly, assist them land a scholarship.

With the SAT, figuring out a trainee’s preparedness for college is the main objective.

Should You Take the ACT, SAT, or PSAT?

Preferably, trainees need to constantly take the PSAT. It enables them to see what college entryway examinations resemble and might assist them get a scholarship Plus, it isn’t utilized as part of college admission, so there is no danger connected with participating, even if they do not get a high rating.

Considering that colleges generally see the ACT and SAT as being basically comparable, your trainee might utilize ratings from either in their applications. Nevertheless, because the tests aren’t precisely alike, it isn’t a bad concept for trainees to take both a minimum of as soon as. Then, they can see if they are more comfy with one than the other, and concentrate on the one they prefer for their 2nd efforts.

Nevertheless, simply make certain your trainee thinks about the composing examinations. While not all colleges need them, some do, so it’s a great concept to have a rating readily available in case it is required. Plus, it might assist your trainee stick out from other candidates, possibly increasing the chances that they’ll enter into a favored school.

Eventually, the ACT, SAT, and PSAT all play crucial functions, so motivate your trainee to explore them all as they get closer to their college journey.