The SAT or the ACT?

Last October, area schools provided low-cost PSAT tests during school hours. Students were able to establish a score that would not only qualify them for possible Merit Scholarships, but put them on the radar of colleges across the country. One of The Learning Curve‘s students was in that list of Merit finalists from Sammamish!

PSAT scores earned in a student’s 10th or 11th grade year can tell you how much help your child might need before taking the SAT for college entrance. However, many have heard that a student might do even better on the ACT. So, which to choose?

The SAT and the ACT are very different tests, with different content and different strategies. Which is best for your child? Well, that depends!

First of all, most colleges are now accepting scores from either the SAT or the ACT. Public high schools and communities on the West and East coast emphasize the SAT (by offering the PSAT during school hours), and high schools in the middle of the country seem to emphasize the ACT (by offering the PLAN test).

The easiest, and next-to-no-cost solution to deciding which test to take is to sit down with a an ACT and a SAT book and Take the Exam in the comfort of your own home. Any prep book you buy will have multiple practice tests you can choose from. Knowing ahead of time which of these two tests best shows off your child’s smarts is a great way to be efficient with limited prep time, as well as your tutoring dollars!

A 2007 New York Times article (HERE) gives a few hints about which test might be best for your child. A fidgeter with ADHD might do better on the ACT, for example, and boys tend to do slightly better on the SAT. Just this past February, Kelly Roell from About.com posted a quiz to help students decide which might be best. Click HERE to take it!

As always, The Learning Curve is here to help support students of all abilities do their best on tests they need to take to be successful in high school, college and beyond. We help students score the best they can on the WASL/HSPE, the MSP, the End of Course exams, the ISEE, and the SAT/ACT!

May 2, 2011

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