What is the Difference Between ACT, SAT And PSAT?

If you’re working towards graduating from high school, you probably know that your scores on standardized tests can significantly impact your capability to get admitted to your college of choice. Nevertheless, because there are numerous choices – including PSAT, SAT, and ACT, it might be challenging to decide which standardized test you should take. This is true because all these tests have a few things that are common.

This article explores differences between ACT vs. SAT vs. PSAT that learners should know regarding these tests.

What is the ACT?

ACT is the acronym for American College Testing. ACT is an entry exam administered to students to assess their readiness to join college. Universities and colleges review the students’ test scores in order to determine their ability to perform well in school.

Moreover, ACT serves as a contrast point between various college applicants. Because ACT is standardized, colleges and universities can utilize them to determine how learners measure up against each other when making a decision on who to admit.

What are the Four Sections of the ACT?

The ACT test has four major sections and one optional section. These main sections consist of:

  • Science
  • Reading
  • Math
  • English

Students can decide to do an optional essay writing test section. This enables colleges to learn more about the writing abilities of the student.

How Long is the ACT Test?

The ACT exam is 2 hours and 55 long. However, it can take 3 hours and 35 minutes if the student decides to participate in the essay writing section.

How Is the ACT Scored?

Each section of the ACT exam is scored utilizing a 1-to-36-point scale. 36 is the highest possible score in every section. Besides, the four major section scores are averaged in order to come up with the composite ACT score of the student. In case a learner participates in the essay writing section, he or she will get a separate 1 to 36 score for that part.

When Should You Take the ACT?

Many learners take the ACT examination during the spring of their junior year in high school and the fall of their senior year in high school. A student can participate in the ACT examination again if he or she isn’t excited about his first score as a junior.

Nevertheless, that does not mean that a student can only do the ACT exam during those periods. Younger learners are permitted to participate in the ACT examination, and senior high schoolers can take the test past their last year in high school.

The ACT test is offered countrywide in February, April, June, July, September, October, and December. Nevertheless, not all exam centers provide the same dates; hence your learner will determine what is offered locally early to ensure that they get their grades early.

What Is the SAT?

SAT stands for Scholastic Assessment Test. This test was initially called the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Similar to the ACT, SAT is designed to determine the readiness of the learner for higher studies and to develop an easy way of comparing the abilities of students in order to decide who is to be admitted.

How Many Sections are in the SAT?

The SAT exam is categorized into two parts and an elective section. The two main parts consist of:

  • English
  • Math

Similar to the ACT, SAT has an optional essay section that showcases the writing abilities of the student.

How Long is the SAT

Is the PSAT Harder Than the SAT?
The SAT exam takes 3 hours. If you opt to participate in an elective essay, the examination will take 3 hours and 50 minutes.

How is the SAT Scored 2021?

Every SAT section gets a score. The minimum scores a learner can earn in each section is 200, and the highest score is 800. The main score of the student combines English and Math scores, creating a total between 400 and 1600.

If a student does the essay section, they will get a separate score for that section based on the 200 to 800-point scale.

Is 1100 a Good SAT Score?

A score of 1100 is better than average. It put the student in the top 59th percentile countrywide out of the students who participate in the SAT entrance examination. The SAT score shows that you have performed to some extent above-average answering quizzes on the English and Math section of the test.

Is 1200 a Good SAT Score?

Yes. A score of 1200 is good. It places a learner in the top 76th percentile countrywide out of the test-takers of the SAT test.

When Should You Take the SAT?

Many learners take the SAT as seniors in the fall and juniors during the spring. Through this, students have an opportunity to give at least two attempts and still get their grades in time for college or university applications.

Nevertheless, some learners take the SAT early or later in their high school careers; there are no explicit score-graded requirements to be eligible for the examination.

The SAT exam is done in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December across the United States.

What Is the PSAT?

PSAT stands for Preliminary SAT. This is not a college entrance examination. It is employed in preparing learners for the SAT or ACT examination, basically providing them with an opportunity to experience the same test. Additionally, it’s a National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Learners who do well in this test can get money for college for just attaining a high grade.

Who Takes the PSAT Test?

PSAT test is taken by 11th grade and some 10th-grade students.

How Many Sections are in the PSAT?

The PSAT test has two major sections, which include:

  • English
  • Math

How Long Is the PSAT Exam?

The examination takes 2 hours and 45 minutes long in total.

How is the PSAT Score Calculated?

Every section on the PSAT exam is scored on a 160- to 760-point scale. Scores in every section are summed together, with the highest possible score being 1520.

When Should You Take the PSAT?

In many instances, juniors or sophomores participate in the PSAT exam. The examination is only taken once annually, in October, and the school of the student usually decides on the classes that are qualified to take part.

What Is the Difference Between ACT vs. SAT?

If you are wondering what is the difference between SAT and ACT, the most apparent differentiator is ACT’s science section. Nevertheless, there are other aspects where these two examinations are not exactly the same.

For instance, the SAT examination depends more on evidence, including multi-step problem-solving and content-based questions as compared to the ACT. Some learners might feel that the ACT exam is easier to find out what the quizzes are asking for. However, this does not mean the questions are more straightforward to answer since they assess similar skills during the SAT.

Regarding content, both SAT vs. ACT are remarkably the same. Additionally, the examinations take almost the same amount to finish, and they utilize similar formats, depending heavily on multiple-choice with only a few exemptions outside of the essay sections.

What Is the Difference Between PSAT and SAT?

The main difference between PSAT and SAT is the intention of the examination. SAT exam is designed to help students get a scholarship, while the PSAT is intended to prepare learners for the SAT examination. The main goal of SAT is determining the readiness of a student for college.

Is the PSAT Harder than the SAT

No. The PSAT exam is easier compared to the SAT, and this is reflected in the scores.

Should I Take the SAT or ACT Based on My PSAT Score?

The similarity between ACT and PSAT scores can be used in determining whether you ought to focus on preparing for the ACT or SAT. Although many learners score comparably, most learners prefer taking one test over the other. Presently, there is no certified, direct concordance between the ACT and the PSAT.

ACT vs. SAT vs. PSAT: Which One Should You Take

What is the Difference Between PSAT and SAT?Basically, learners ought to always participate in the PSAT test. It enables them to find out how college entrance examinations look like and can assist them in getting a scholarship. Additionally, it is not utilized as a part of college admission; hence there is no risk associated with participating in the test, even if they score low grades.

Since colleges consider SAT and ACT as being the same, students can utilize scores from either in their application process. Nevertheless, because the tests are not exactly the same, it is not bad for learners to participate in the two examinations once.

Ensure that your learner considers the writing examinations. Although not all colleges need them, some do; hence it’s crucial to have a score available in case it’s required. Additionally, it might assist your teen in standing out from other candidates, possibly increasing the chances that they will get into their chosen school.

Lastly, PSAT, SAT, and ACT all play significant roles, hence motivating the student to consider them as they prepare to join college.

You can contact High School of America to learn more about ACT vs. SAT vs. PSAT standardized tests and online high school diploma programs that can meet your goals and needs.

Resources and References: