The ACT and SAT are different tests that measure similar but distinct constructs. The ACT measures achievement related to high school curricula, while the SAT measures general verbal and quantitative reasoning.
To help you zero in on the right exam, here are seven key differences:
1. ACT questions tend to be more straightforward.
ACT questions are often easier to understand on a first read. On the SAT, you may need to spend time figuring out what you’re being asked before you can start solving the problem. For example, here are sample questions from the SAT essay and the ACT writing test (their name for the essay):
SAT: What is your view of the claim that something unsuccessful can still have some value?
ACT: In your view, should high schools become more tolerant of cheating?
2. The SAT has a stronger emphasis on vocabulary.
If you’re an ardent wordsmith, you’ll love the SAT. If words aren’t your thing, you may do better on the ACT.
3. The ACT has a Science section, while the SAT does not.
You don’t need to know anything about amoebas or chemical reactions for the ACT Science section. It is meant to test your reading and reasoning skills based upon a given set of facts. But if you’re a true science-phobe, the SAT might be a better fit.
4. The ACT tests more advanced math concepts.
In addition to basic arithmetic, algebra I and II, and geometry, the ACT tests your knowledge of trigonometry, too. That said, the ACT Math section is not necessarily harder, since many students find the questions to be more straightforward than those on the SAT.
5. The ACT Writing Test is optional on test day, but required by many schools.
The 25-minute SAT essay is required and is factored into your writing score. The 40-minute ACT writing test is optional. If you choose to take it, it is not included in your composite score — schools will see it listed separately. Many colleges require the writing section of the ACT, so be sure to check with the schools where you are applying before opting out.
6. The SAT is broken up into more sections.
On the ACT, you tackle each content area (English, Math, Reading and Science) in one big chunk, with the optional writing test at the end. On the SAT, the content areas (Critical Reading, Math and Writing) are broken up into 10 sections, with the required essay at the beginning. You do a little math, a little writing, a little critical reading, a little more math, etc. When choosing between the SAT and ACT, ask yourself if moving back and forth between content areas confuse you or keep you energized?
7. The ACT is more of a “big picture” exam.
College admissions officers care about how you did on each section of the SAT. On the ACT, they’re most concerned with your composite score. So if you’re weak in one content area but strong in others, you could still end up with a very good ACT score and thus make a strong impression with the admissions committee.
ACT Test Dates:
SAT Subject Test Dates/Categories:
Teacher Tutors Simulated Exams for SAT/ACT Tutoring.
Our SAT/ACT Tutors are qualified and ready to help meet your tutoring needs. Browse through our SAT/ACT Tutors below:
Sarin, an expert tutor, is a undergraduate at Rutgers Honors and Aureus Medical School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers University in 2009. He then proceeded to graduate medical school within the top 15% of his medical college graduating class in 2013. Sarin is passionate about teaching and would like to inspire, motivate, and teach students to become successful in their academic careers. Sarin tutors various subjects including advanced placement Biology, advanced placement chemistry, advanced placement physics, pre-algebra, algebra I/II, geometry, pre-calculus, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, SAT math (Scored 800), ACT, GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL. He possesses the integrity and sincerity in serving his community and he affirms that given this opportunity he will fulfill this objective by practicing medicine and giving back to the community by teaching.... [More About Sarin K]
Mark, a master tutor, is an educator with over 25 years of experience teaching college English and writing. He has a B.A. from Wesleyan University, a M.A. from Georgetown, and a Ph.D ABD from Temple University in English and American literature. Mark also has experience teaching the SAT verbal section. Currently he teaches English and writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, County College of Morris, and Raritan Valley Community College. His teaching philosophy is that while maintaining high standards in academia, he can then devote himself to being his pupil's ally in achieving those standards. Mark is a fitness fanatic and runner while also having a passion for social service and volunteering.... [More About Mark Raines]
Bob, a master tutor, graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in history and telecommunications management and also earned his M.A. in educational administration. Bob has been a teacher since 1984, and he consider it to be his life’s work. At present he is a history teacher at Madison High School in Madison, where he's taught for 25 years and is an adjunct professor in the history and social science department at Middlesex County College. He also has 8 years experience as an education professor teaching the New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ) courses, a state-approved alternate route program, at Raritan Valley Community College. Bob believes that students respond to creative, focused, personalized instruction, and that's how he approaches tutoring and teaching. He also strives to give his students the confidence and skills to succeed in any academic endeavor. When he's not teaching, Bob likes to swim, walk, read and tell funny stories.... [More About Bob Grundfest]
Vicente, an expert tutor, was born in Lima, Peru, where he obtained an B.S.E.E. from the National Engineering University Lima-Peru. He later earned an M.S.E.E. and M.B.A from NJIT in Newark, NJ.
He worked for Nextel, Sprint and AT&T for 16 years as senior RAN engineer and capacity plan manager. He has tutored high school students for the past 6 years in math and physics with great results.
Vicente takes great pride in helping students excel beyond their expectations and achieve success.
Matt, an expert tutor, is an educator with a background in journalism, philosophy, business, and Chinese language arts (Mandarin and Cantonese dialects). Since 2005, Matt has participated in various Vassar College academic programs, traveling to major cities in China, as well as Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Paris and Berlin for academic research and tutoring local students in those cities. As a result, he has completed research projects focusing on cross-cultural comparisons and learning styles in different countries. He has also worked as a business news journalist and researcher. Matt has experience working with elementary, middle and high school students both in the states and abroad. He believes in using interactive technologies and real-world examples to make tutoring fun and relevant for students. His familiarity and experiences with traditional and innovative teaching methods help students of different levels and backgrounds learn at their potential.... [More About Matthew Leung]
Dave, a master tutor, graduated from Rutgers with a B.A. in history and religion. He tutors in k-12 social studies and history, including all of the pertinent advanced placement tests (US/world/European history, macroeconomics, human geography, etc). He also tutors the critical reading and writing sections of the SAT, and the reading and English sections of the ACT. Dave can also teach advanced placement music theory and instruct in basic guitar and bass guitar. He is available in Bergen County on weeknights, Essex County on weekends, and online.... [More About Dave Imbriaco]
Craig, a master tutor, has a B.A. in English from UCLA and a M.Ed. in film production from USC, where he received a prestigious merit scholarship award for outstanding editing. Craig is a writer, filmmaker, and educator with 5 years of experience teaching, writing, and film studies at the undergraduate level. Craig has worked in the motion picture industry as a production manager, screenwriter, and producer, working closely with writers and directors to help them realize their ideas on screen. He now enjoys using these listening and partnering skills with students of all ages to help them express themselves with clear and compelling language. Craig continues to write and to consult with other screenwriters. In his spare time, Craig is an avid photographer and loves to hike, read, and discuss ideas with his own school-aged children.... [More About Craig Weisz]
Richard, an expert tutor, earned his M.A.F. and is a literature lover with a M.A. and a film buff with an B.A. in film theory and production. Richard is an adjunct professor of writing at Kean University and Union County College. Richard is a very unique tutor with vast abilities. He is an experienced middle school, high school, and college level tutor. In addition to being a certified secondary school teacher, he is a fiction writer. Richard believes that writing can and should be inspiring, even fun. He does his best to transform the process into one of discovery and excitement. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, reading, and spending time with his family.... [More About Richard Squires]
Paul, a master tutor, graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a B.S. in mathematics and certificate in secondary education. He is a passionate high school math teacher and is currently a third year teacher at Dover High School. He teaches geometry, algebra II and calculus. Certified to teach all math grades 6-12, Paul also has experience working with gifted and talented students. He has been tutoring students in multiple areas of math such as algebra 1, algebra 2, pre-calculus, calculus, geometry and statistics. He is extensively familiar with SAT math prep, PARCC testing and the Common Core math standards. Paul has numerous hours of professional development; specifically from the graduate school at Drew University. He believes that engaging students in interactive lessons is the most effective way to teach mathematics, ensuring students' complete understanding. In his spare time, Paul loves to play sports to stay active, watch movies and, most importantly, spend quality time with his friends and family.... [More About Paul Richard]
Uri, an expert tutor, has a B.S. in industrial engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Bilingual Education, and a teaching certification in mathematics. He has taught at Perth Amboy High School and is currently teaching in the Elizabeth Public Schools. He also has experience working as a substitute classroom teacher in Middlesex County for grades k-12. Uri tutors mathematics and Spanish to children and adults of all levels. He loves to cook, watch movies, listen to music, and travel. Uri has an extraordinary amount of patience as a teacher and enjoys finding each student’s ideal learning style.... [More About Uri Perez]
Laurence, a master tutor, having graduated Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, and Rutgers University with a B.A. in Chemistry. He started tutoring when he was fourteen years old. A neighbor asked him to help her daughter with pre-algebra and he obliged. He must have been good, because soon after, he was being asked by other parents to help their children with math and science. When he began tutoring, he discovered that he enjoyed helping other people learn. Laurence has found that there is nothing more rewarding that seeing the light of comprehension click on in a student's eyes when they've suddenly understood something. By the time he graduated high school, Laurence had tutored more than a dozen people. Over the past twleve years, Laurence have enjoyed tutoring immensely. Laurence tutors: pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus I/AB, calculus II/BC, high school physics, AP physics I, AP physics II, AP physics C, general relativity, quantum mechanics, special relativity, high school chemistry, AP chemistry, and several other subjects. Laurence has also helped prepare students for the math portion of the SAT.... [More About Laurence Giordano]
Mike, a master tutor, has graduated from McNair High in Jersey City and was recruited for basketball at Centenary College in Hackettstown New Jersey. While at Centenary, he was invited to attend a M.I.P (Mathematics Is Power) program at Stevens Tech in Hoboken. He placed first on the entrance exam and first on the post test for completing Calculus II. Mike has been teaching for twelve years on the high school level. His motto is that mathematics is life, and life is logic. Students have the ability to understand mathematics at any level. math is not magic and tricks, it is just logic.... [More About Michael Jeter]
Albert, a master tutor, has a decade of experience as a private tutor, alongside impeccable educational credentials and numerous commendations and certifications, Albert is a consummate master of Mathematics, teaching all levels, from elementary through college curricula. His specialties comprise of: Algebra, Algebra 2, Calculus, and Basic Math. He also tutors a wide range of standardized tests.
For Albert, tutoring isn't work; it’s a fulfilling activity that he would jump at the chance to do. He likes being a positive influence in a student’s life and enjoy using his knowledge to help them succeed in school.
He has been academically savvy throughout my life. He is a consistent honors student in high school and college, while consistently active in extracurricular activities. Albert was previously trained at several tutoring organizations as a math and test prep tutor, and also taught students in the North NJ areas.
Currently, he is working toward Teaching Certification from a comprehensive and rigorous education program.... [More About Albert Appouh]
Born abroad and taught in private Montessori schools, George is a native British English speaker and can tutor in both UKSE (United Kingdom Standard English) and GenAmSE (General American Standard English). He has taught grades 7-12, from foundational Language Arts to Honors and Pre-AP courses. He currently teaches Honors World Literature, Honors American Literature, and Journalism.
He has worked with the NJ Department of Education on its most recent state curriculum revision committee in 2018 and has presented workshops on student-centered learning with the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English. He was awarded the 2018 Teacher for the Dream Award by NJCTE for his advocacy in increasing the representation of people of color in humanities and education programmes.
George is experienced in tutoring students to succeed in high stakes tests, such as the NJASK, HSPA, PARCC, SAT, and Advanced Placement exams, specializing in writing composition and analysis of informational texts. His favorite genre to read and teach is the essay. He loves helping students find their voices and strengthen their command of the written word. His goal is to see all his students demonstrate academic growth and success, whether it's improving their basic literacy or refining their analytical and rhetorical skills.... [More About George Salazar]
Albert, a master tutor, was awarded a M.Ed. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is currently working on his Ed.D. at Seton Hall University. In addition to pursuing his Doctorate, Al currently works as a Mathematics/ELA and Leadership Coach in several school districts. He has been an educator and senior educational administrator in New Jersey for more than 18 years. He has worked as a teacher, a central office administrator, an assistant principal, and a high school principal. Al gained valuable experience working in various counties across the state of New Jersey. He has a keen understanding of the needs, inadequacies and challenges of providing special services to students with special needs.... [More About Albert Gilson]
Brian, a master tutor, is an experienced middle school teacher. He holds NJ State Certifications in Special Education, Social Studies, and K-6 Elementary School Education. He is also highly qualified in Mathematics and Science. He taught most recently as a 7th and 8th Grade Middle School Social Studies and ELA Teacher in the Somerville Public School District. Brian has worked extensively with special and general education students.
Brian graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ramapo Collge with an M.A. in Special Education. Prior to that, Brian graduated from Montclair State University in 2013 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Philosophy, as a member of Phi Alpha Theta: National History Honor Society. Topics and areas of expertise in mathematics: fractions, probability, ratios, word problems, linear equations, long division, algebra I, 2-D geometry, abstract numbers, and much more. Topics and areas of expertise in social studies/history including colonial, revolutionary, civics, geography, Civil War, African American history, Greco-Roman history.
Brian has tutored students from first-grade through junior college in urban and suburban settings. He brings a focus and dedication to his craft that inspires his clients. With an understanding that learners are individuals, Brian excels in presenting educational material using various strategies, in order to accommodate the learning strengths of his clients including visual, auditory, or kinesthetic modalities. Brian has worked with children across the academic and behavioral spectrum. Whenever possible Brian enjoys geocaching, reading epic fantasy novels, studying geopolitics, following pro sports, discovering adventures with his wife, and learning from his two young children.... [More About Brian ONeil]
Nick, an expert tutor, is a graduate of Montclair State University with a degree in Molecular Biology. He has a passion for teaching especially topics pertaining to life sciences and he enjoys communicating information to others. Nick is currently applying to Medical School. Studying for the MCAT gives him a strong background with materials often covered in Science classes in schools across the nation. Nick has been both a peer tutor for fellow science majors, and a teacher of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Montclair State. His background in teaching a variety of practices allows his to instill many traits such as discipline, creativity, and resourcefulness, to name a few needed to succeed in demanding environments in others. He offers an open setting where individuals can feel their way through the material which aims to give students a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Nick's passions include science, BJJ, reading, and listening to podcasts.... [More About Nicholas Jascewsky]
Tim, a master tutor, is currently a 7th grade social studies teacher. He graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2002 with a B.A. in history and secondary education. He received his M.A. in history in 2008 from William Paterson University. He has been a 7th grade teacher for fourteen years. He's taught mostly social studies, but also taught language arts for 5 years a well. He is highly qualified in elementary education grades k-8 in all subjects, social studies grades 6-12, and language arts grades 6-8. He has tutored students from elementary school through high school over the last seventeen years in a variety of subjects, mostly focused on homework help and test/quiz preparation. He looks forward to an opportunity to get back into tutoring on a more consistent level and help students achieve their academic potential!... [More About Timothy Cichewicz]
Thomas, a master tutor, graduated from Rutgers in 2014, earning his B.A. in mathematics has been teaching/tutoring students since his junior year at Rutgers University. He has worked with students from 3rd grade through 12th grade. He currently works at Cedar Grove High School where he teaches honors geometry, algebra II, and pre-calculus. Math has always been a subject he's enjoyed teaching because although it looks intimidating, it can be so simple when taught properly. One of his great enjoyments is seeing that "light bulb," moment when a student understands a concept and begins to challenge him or herself. He always encourages his students to ask questions and never wants them to be afraid to admit they do not understand something. He loves being able to build connections with his students and find out what they like outside of the classroom. In addition to teaching and tutoring, Thomas also coaches girls soccer and spring track. Sports were a big part of his life growing up and he greatly enjoys being able to share his knowledge with his athletes.... [More About Thomas Moogan]
Mike, a master tutor, knows that no one excels at everything all of the time. His goal as your child's tutor is to help her or him through the rough spots and to teach strategies to help your child gain strength, confidence, and master skills. As a New Jersey certified teacher, he is familiar with modern pedagogy and expected grade-level appropriate skill sets from writing and grammar through understanding Shakespeare and modern classics. Mike has experience teaching at the high school level. He has worked with students in basic skills programs and those in honors courses. Mike is passionate about literature and composition and has a talent for making written words come to life. Mike has a very passionate and energetic approach to teaching and enjoys when students become enthusiastic about their writing. He looks forward to the opportunity to help students see their potential and achieve beyond their goals.... [More About Mike Skara]
Tom, a master tutor, is a highly skilled mathematics teacher with more than 7 years of tutoring experience. As a Mathematics teacher in Ramsey, Tom has taught students of all levels and differentiates instruction to meet the needs of his students. He is easy-going and provides a comfortable learning environment to ease the anxieties of a student struggling in math. He has tutored SAT Prep for more than 7 years and has strategies designed to improve scores in the Mathematics section. Tom has written curriculum for the last 4 years and coaches Golf in the spring, He is always looking for new and innovative ways to teach mathematics to make learning more enjoyable.... [More About Thomas Digiore]
Dean, a master tutor, hopes each student will discover academic enjoyment. He started tutoring in high school, continued as a college student attending the University of Pennsylvania, and has been one ever since he graduated and returned to the New Jersey area. He previously taught SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Test preparation courses and worked for Montclair State University as an Upward Bound Summer Instructor introducing incoming students to college-level English. Dean focuses on one-on-one tutoring but is just as comfortable teaching in a small group and classroom setting. When not tutoring students, Dean works full-time as an IT professional for a global exposition company. In his free time, Dean serves as an adult literacy volunteer and teaches digital literacy courses for individuals with limited exposure to technology.... [More About Dean Garcia]
Ron, a master tutor, is a retired chemical engineer with more than thirty-five years of project management experience. He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering from New York University, and his Master of Engineering from The City College of New York, both in Chemical Engineering. Concurrently with his long-term engineering career, Ron went back to graduate school and obtained a Master of Arts in Education as well as his Professional Clear California State Teaching Credential from Azusa Pacific University. He has more than fifteen years of classroom experience, as both a high school math and science teacher, and adjunct professor of mathematics at Argosy University in California. Throughout his teaching career, Ron has tutored elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students in all levels of mathematics, chemistry, and physics, in both public and private environments. While he was raising his children in Westchester County, New York, Ron served seven years as a Trustee of the Board of Education of the Yorktown Central School District, as well as volunteering for many activities within the district schools. During that same time period, he owned and operated (along with his wife) the Open Day Pre-School in Mohegan Lake, New York. Finally, Ron is a veteran of the United States Army, with active service during the Vietnam War.... [More About Ron Ambrosini]
Martin, a master tutor, is a highly motivated math and science tutor with over 15 years of experience. He has over 10 years of hands-on experience working as a research chemist in Research & Development (R&D), developing consumer goods with scientific knowledge and research. Martin is patient, articulate and able to convey science concepts to his students with everyday examples that makes science fun and interesting. Martin believes that with hard work, focus and determination, students can master and enjoy science as well as improve their school grades. In his free time, Martin enjoys basketball, soccer and solving word problems, Sudoku, and logic puzzles.... [More About MARTIN ASARE]
Tom, an expert tutor, is a graduate of Montclair State University. Specializing in social studies education, Thomas has been committed to providing students with engaging lessons and has worked with many different grade levels. Through Montclair State University, Thomas has learned a vast amount of techniques to best serve his students. Thomas has also earned his graduate degree from Louisiana State University in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to social studies education, Thomas has also worked as a writing and reading coach for college students, helped individuals obtain their GED, and tutored students in preparation for the SAT/ACT. Thomas is currently working as a teacher in Livingston, NJ. In his spare time, Thomas likes to read, play volleyball, and do volunteer work with various charities.... [More About Tom Montesion]
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