SAT vs ACT question

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: SAT vs ACT question
By Thisoldlady (Thisoldlady) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:21 pm: Edit

This i don't understand.

Some schools ask for the SAT1 plus 3 SAT2s OR the ACT. Do the schools actually have a preference, or will both alternatives be equally judged.

As a recap of our situation, my D took the SAT and got a very mediocre score. Some posters suggested that she take the ACT instead. Well, I didn't look into it for a while because it seemed so foreign- no one ever talks about the ACT where we live. Now i have looked at the test and find that it is much more suited to my D's strengths and less focused on her weaknesses. She is scheduled to retake the SAT in 2 weeks, and to take the ACT two weeks after that and an SAT2 2 weeks after that. If, after we sort thru all these numbers, it looks like the ACT score presents her in the best light, do we just submit this or will it look funny to the more selective schools?

Also, I don't get it. The level of topic mastery required to do well on the SAT2s far surpasses that required for the ACT, so why would schools accept the ACT as a substitute?

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:04 pm: Edit

I don't have any experience with the ACT but I have heard that they are equally acceptable.
My niece submitted her ACT scores instead of SAT scores and she was admitted to most of her schools

By Drusba (Drusba) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:05 pm: Edit

Those schools that say they will take the ACT in lieu of both the SAT and SAT II's (e.g., Brown, Yale, Duke, Penn, Tufts, Amherst, Wesleyan, John Hopkins) mean just that and the ACT is all that is needed. The why they do so is of little importance but they view the ACT as having the same concept as the SAT II's --to test on what you learned in high school. They view the SAT as not necessarily designed to do that. Also, understand that those same scools, contrary to those who believe that test scores are the most important factor to admission (and apparently believe there is actually some huge difference between someone with a 1480 SAT and someone with a 1520), view test scores as mainly an important factor that gets you into the large pool of those who will be seriously considered and once there everything else is of more importance.

As to whether she will actually do better on the ACT, that is an unknown, many do, many don't. Many find the ACT questions to be somewhat easier and less tricky than the SAT but at the same time find they never have enough time to finish the test since it provides less time to answer questions than the SAT.

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