As a person who proudly got a 33 on the ACT I was wondering why they are not more widely known.

Most of my coworkers are from out of state and they look at me oddly as ACT is nothing and only SAT counts.

Just where is ACT and does it overlap with SAT in various areas.

Why two tests?

No kidding! 32 ACT but only a 1270 SAT. Both good, but (relatively) better on the ACT and it didn’t count for jack…back in '91 anyway.

I only managed a 32. Actually a 31.5 with the rounding in my favor.
In the Chicago public high schools, they generally encourage you to take the ACT moreso than the SAT. If I remember correctly, midwestern universities favor the ACT. However, if you were to apply to an Ivy League school, you should definitely take the SAT.
So where are you from?

I’m from Chicago, of course. Never having seen the SAT I think the ACT may be easier.

I recall on our sample test we took, I just filled in the dots at random and to 35% right.

I think that is why I got so high I went back after the time was up for a section and filled in anything to make a cool pattern. (hey what you do when you’re 16) figuring if I got 1/3 right without even LOOKING at a question I should get 2/3 right at least by looking and eliminating answers.

I’d suggest that students take both. There is some scale which relates ACT scores to SAT scores, which I remember looking last year (Note: I’m a high school student). All I remember is that a 33 corresponds to about a score around 1450, and I managed to get a 1480 on the SAT.

The ACT, as you know, tests particular subjects: English, Reading, Math, and Scientific Reasoning. The SAT, on the other hand, has only two sections, Verbal and Math. Originally, the SAT’s purpose was to determine how well a student would perform in her freshman year of college. Obviously, we know that the SAT, nor any other standardized written test, can actually accurately test something like this.

There’s also the SAT II: Subject tests, which many colleges nowadays require.

To the poster who replied that one should take the SAT if applying to Ivy League Schools – I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I remember many applications stating that one could submit only ACT scores, if the student had only taken the ACT. If both the SAT and ACT were taken, then SAT scores had to be submitted as well.

Anyway, my scores helped me get into the school I wanted. But test scores are one of the least things private schools look for. In the end, it’s really a crapshoot.

At any rate, I think standardized tests, namely the SAT and ACT, are a bunch of crap.


Not bragging, are we? :smiley: Congratulations, anyway.

Once Upon A Time there was a university in Princeton, NJ. A Great Scholar from that Great University became weary of providing “gentleman’s Cs” to the lazy sons of the uppercrust. He proposed that introducing educational achievement tests and making them a criterion of admission would make it possible for poor-but-talented individuals to get high status educations and rise to social status equal to their intellectual merits, rather than their fathers’ pocketbooks. So he created a test, and a foundation (Educational Testing Service), and schools did subscribe thereunto. In the fullness of time, all high school students who were thought by their teachers to have potential were encouraged, admonished and badgered to take the test, which was known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

As time went on, the savants at the ETS received the revelation from the Great God of Academe that helping students at the beginning of their college careers did not produce sufficient merit for the propitiation of their deity. College students needed help to determine their talents and preparation for graduate school, and a way to impress upon the graduate admissions committee of their chosen institution the surpassing merit of their aspiration to sit at the feet of the swamis and savants of that ancient and honorable place, for the purpose of collecting and storing away the pearls of wisdom which drop from their lips. Thus was born a variety of other tests (GRE, MCAT, etc.).

Others observed the monopoly of the ETS with envy. Eventually, they concluded that it was not necessary for them to sit and gnaw their fingernails in frustration. All they had to do was come up with an alternative test, and persuade schools that it was Just As Good As The Other Test. And they did.

End of story. Whether or not your coworkers know about ACT is irrelevant. The admissions people at colleges and universities do, which is all that matters. Though if you aspire to an Ivy League university, you might be well advised to take the SAT. … And pray to the Deity of your choice that you get better than 1450 (or whatever).

The SAT and ACT tests measure roughly the same thing, although the ACT splits its scores up into four categories rather than two. Neither is more difficult. The range of possible scores on one can be approximately mapped onto the range of scores of the other. The only difference is that they started by being used for different sets of universities. The SAT was originally used just by a small number of fairly selective colleges (mostly on the East Coast, plus a few on the West Coast). The ACT was used by a small number of state universities in the Midwest. Nowdays nearly all colleges and universities in the U.S. require that you take one of the two exams before they will even look at your application. The rough rule is that the ACT is required by most state universities in the Midwest, while most East Coast and West Coast state universities and most private colleges throughout the U.S. take the SAT. Many colleges will accept either test, though. (I think Canadian universities use the SAT, but I don’t remember anymore.)

The question of which test to take isn’t something you need to spend a lot of time over. Before your senior year in high school, make a list of all the universities and colleges that you might apply to. It will say on their catalogs, admission forms, and websites whether they want students to take the SAT or the ACT (or whether they will accept either test). Sign up to take whichever tests you’re going to need for your applications.

Who cares if your co-workers don’t know what the ACT is? In any case, the scores on the SAT and ACT are designed to be used by college admissions personnel, not as something to be used for bragging rights. Bragging about your SAT or ACT scores is like bragging about the results on a medical test your doctor did.