Testing season has begun once again at Dripping Springs High School. As juniors and seniors are preparing for the inevitable task of college and scholarship applications, they are often faced with the question of SAT versus ACT and how to prepare.
“There isn’t one that is better than the other,” Counselor Brooke Johnson said. “It is going to depend on how you test. The format of the SAT is different then the format of the ACT, so it just depends on a student’s strengths.”
She explains that there are a few key differences in the tests themselves.
“The ACT is more like a big final exam of what you should have learned in high school,” Johnson said. “On the other hand, the SAT is a reasoning based test. This means you’re going to see things that you’ve never seen in class before, but if you’re good at reasoning and problem solving you can figure out the answers.”
There are tests that you can take to help determine which one is a better fit for you.
“There is a Caplin Turbo test so you can test which one you will score better on,” Johnson said. “It’s a shortened version of each test that you take and then they compare your results to see which one you are better suited to take.”
After taking both tests, Senior Jordan Rich felt that they were both considerably easier than she had expected.
“I feel like I did pretty well on the ACT,” she said, “Maybe not on the science part, but over all I felt pretty good about it.”
She attributes her success in part to the fact that she has taken the test two times before.
“Since this was my third ACT I knew exactly how I needed to take the test,” Rich said. “I knew how the questions were set up, so I felt pretty ready.”
She claimed that having taken the ACT before benefitted her more than doing very little prepare like she did for the SAT.
“I didn’t prepare at all for it,” Rich admits.
Despite this fact she said that she felt prepared because of having taken the PSAT her sophomore and junior year.
“I felt prepared when I got there and started looking at it,” Rich said. “It was kind of easy after having taken the PSAT.”
Taking practice tests, or taking each test more than once is definitely a benefit when preparing.
“The more exposure you have to that kind of test, the better,” Johnson said.
Written by Jules Peterson