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Many testing criteria are used in the United States to assess the eligibility of the students for the particular program he has applied for. Among those, the well-recognized tests are SAT and ACT. SAT and ACT both are standardized tests used in all the colleges and universities for the admissions in undergraduate programs. Although the two tests serve for the same purpose, there are still many differences which makes them dissimilar in their approach to assessing intellectuality. This essay will evaluate both the educational tests on the basis of all the differences they possess and will give an in-depth analysis of both SAT and ACT exams. The aim of this essay is to assess which of these exams are more difficult and hard to undertake as a student to meet the requirements of the concerned universities.
Generally, students study for different kinds of entry tests requirements colleges demand from them and choose different fields. Opting for different fields requires different kinds of tests and these tests vary in content as some are more technical to solve while others evaluate the student's creativity. Same is the case with SAT and ACT tests. Looking from a glance, both the tests will not appear to be different from each other However they are not as similar as interpreted sometimes. Although both the tests have common grounds for the admission requirements they measure student’s command over various critical skill possession.
They are similar in offering the same sections which are not repetitive i.e. Math, Reading etc. with the essay as an optional part. They both have the criteria of rights-only scoring meaning that only the right answers will be given marks. SAT and ACT both have English parts, "English in ACT and "Writing and Language" or only "Writing" in the SAT test. But there are also some differences which call for an effort for the preparation of these tests. In the writing section of the ACT, your questions are different than that of the SAT. SAT also gives the students more time for solving the question than ACT gives. The science section of both the tests is also altered from one another as ACT has a section entirely focused on science while the SAT does not test the scientific concepts of a student separately. There are only few questions of science like charts, bars, scientific passages etc. located in the paper of SAT. The science part in SAT comes in sub-scoring and most colleges do not give priority to that aspect but they keep into consideration the sole section of science in the ACT.
Another major difference these two tests have is the usage of a calculator in solving mathematical section. ACT allows the help from the calculator but SAT strictly has the criteria of no calculator math in the subsection. This subsection is the shortest section which is only 25 minutes of duration and consists of 20 mathematical questions while the subsection of ACT is much longer with 38 questions of 55 minutes. That means id a student is good in solving the math part without calculator help, he will do this part quickly in SAT.
SAT has also another section in the reading part which is completely absent in ACT exams and they are evidence support reading questions. Also, in the reading section in SAT, the questions provided in this part follow a chronological order and comes in proper order whereas in ACT, they come randomly following no order.
Although both the tests are similar in their approach towards essay content being optional and a passage is provided in both the tests. But, in SAT the answer to the passage will be the critical analysis of the author which will also include reasoning and interpreting his views. Whereas, ACT is more flexible this way and asks the student about his personal views regarding the issues highlighted in the passage.
Looking closely at the composition of both the tests, it is analyzed that they are in no competition of difficulty with one another rather they are just different in delivering the same outcome. They do have a bit of change for the students of different mental capacities. They are regarded as each other's replacements and not the compulsion of each other. Students who take preparatory classes of SAT does not find it necessary to undertake ACT as well and vice versa. Colleges and universities consider satisfactory results from the tests and provide equal chances to the candidates of SAT and ACT which means students of both the tests can apply to the same institutions.
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