Do Colleges Prefer Act Or Sat?

Do Colleges Prefer Act Or Sat?, The answer to this question is, The most popular test taken by applicants to study abroad primarily in the United States of America and other countries of the world is ACT or SAT. Schools use either ACTor SAT scores for processing admissions and grants, and so, students usually query the inclination of one assessment over the other, and also, which one will ease their admission.

Do Colleges Prefer Act Or Sat

Well, to start with, Students and parents must first recognize that neither test is “better” than the other. There has been a long-standing myth that colleges prefer the SAT over the ACT, but in reality, colleges have no preference regarding college entrance exams. All colleges that accept the SAT also accept the ACT; therefore, it is merely a matter of determining which test is more suited to your abilities.

When deciding which test to take and submit with your college application, there are some factors to be considered. If you are seeking admission to a particular college (possibly a selective college), you may wonder whether colleges prefer the ACT or the SAT. As you decide which test to take, this blog addresses this question and others. 

Do Colleges Prefer Act Or Sat

This question has a concise response. In 2022, all colleges accept both the ACT and SAT as a criterion for their admission purposes and do not discriminate based on which exam an applicant takes.

The reason has been that a college typically receives more of one test than the other is the major reason that leads people to believe that colleges favor one test over the other. This is because of the regional nature of the tests. According to the 2018 American Freshman Survey, almost half of college students attended school within 100 miles of their residence. This implies that colleges will primarily receive test grades based on the ACT or SAT’s popularity in their location.

 SAT vs. ACT:

Some few years back, both tests have undergone modifications, with the SAT undergoing a significant revision in 2016. Before taking either Sat or Act, parents and students must not be ignorant of the following differences between the SAT and ACT.

  • The SAT takes three hours and the ACT takes two hours and 55 minutes, however, the ACT’s optional 40-minute writing exam would make it three hours and 45 minutes.
  • The SAT has 154 questions, whereas the ACT has 215 questions. The SAT is divided into three sections: a 65-minute reading exam, 35-minute writing, and language test, and an 80-minute math part. A 35-minute reading exam, 45-minute English test, 60-minute math component, and 35-minute science test make up the ACT.
  • The SAT does not have a separate scientific component, although science questions are sprinkled throughout the test.
  • Each exam has a different scoring system. Total SAT scores vary from 400 to 1600, whereas the ACT composite score ranges from 1-to 36. The optional ACT writing exam, which is assessed independently, is not included in those categories.
  • The cost of the examinations varies as well. It costs $52 to take the SAT. The ACT costs $55 if you simply take the exam and $70 if you also take the optional writing test.

Other choices, such as late registration, may incur additional costs. Due to government funding or cost exemptions, students may be able to take the SAT or ACT for free. man

Which Test Should You Take?

Instead of worrying about which test a particular college prefers, it is more important to ask, “Which test do I prefer?” While the tests are considered to be alternative by colleges, there are clear differences between them. 


There are four sections on the ACT: Mathematics, English, Science, and Reading As the SAT does not include a science section, the Science section is a major difference between the two tests. On the ACT, you must also know off-hand math formulas, and geometry is emphasized more than on the SAT. 

The SAT 

This has fewer queries than the ACT. Nevertheless, the questions are often more difficult. In place of the Science part, there are two math parts. Consequently, Math on the SAT accounts for 50% of your total score, whereas it only accounts for 25% on the ACT.

It makes sense for most students to take both two tests at least once. This allows one to know which of the tests is preferred. Consider your skill set and decide where to use your time after completing both activities. It is optimal to take each test at least four times: twice as a junior in the spring and twice as a senior in the fall. Allow yourself ample time to retake either exam. Adding even a few points to your score can have a significant impact on the scholarships you receive!

 SAT and ACT by State

Although it is becoming increasingly common for students to take the ACT or SAT regardless of where they live, certain regions and states of the country are more likely to administer these exams. This is true for states that require one of the tests as part of their state testing program. If your state requires one of the tests during the studying day, students typically use that test for college admissions.

Even in states where standardized testing is not required, the ACT or SAT are typically more popular.


The number of students that are taking both the SAT and ACT is Increasing. The 2016 SAT changes have made it easier for students that are taking the test than ever, to at the same time prepare for both tests and earn competitive scores on both.

The best way to decide whether you should take the SAT, ACT, or both tests is to take a timed, full-length practice test of each type. Since the format and content of the SAT and ACT are very similar, factors such as how you respond to the time constraints and the types of questions you find difficult can help you determine which exam is more suitable. 

  • Which one Is the harder ACT or SAT?

The difficulty level is subjective to each student; one test cannot be said to be optionally harder than the other.

  • Do colleges prefer SAT to ACT?

Both are universally accepted.

  • What’s the average score for the SAT? 

Generally, the average score for SAT should be between 1200-1600 if you are longing for top colleges abroad.