sat vs act pic


  • PSAT scores will be available to students online Jan. 7
  • Schools will receive paper PSAT score reports by Jan. 29.

So your teen is a junior and you’ve decided the current SAT – last administration on January 23 – is not an option. Now you’re down to the new SAT or the ACT. But the question remains – which one one is the better exam for my teen, or perhaps is taking both the best option?!

That’s where I come in. For the past three years, I’ve been using the current 60 Second ACT vs. SAT AssessmentTM  very successfully.  It has proven to be an invaluable tool to help parents and students make the decision. That said, I felt it incumbent upon me to devise one for the new SAT and ACT.

The differences between the new SAT and the ACT are not as clearly defined as there is definitely more overlap in skills tested as well as format. That said, there are still discernible differences. I had to ‘drill down’ a bit more to create the new assessment; however, as with the previous assessment, this is still based primarily on learning style and personality – two overlooked factors that greatly affect test-taking success.

Next week I will send out the email that will tell you how to easily score and find out the better exam: new SAT or ACT, or both.

Here is the pdf version  of the 60 Second ACT vs. SAT AsssesmentTM 

NOTE: Make sure your teen takes the assessment, not you!


60 Second ACT vs. SAT AssessmentTM

Below are 11 either/or options for you to select from. Go with your gut – do not over-analyze. If you do not understand an option, go with your initial instinct. There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers, just what ‘fits’ you better.

  1. I am stronger in

(A) analytic thinking

(B) synthesizing information read


  1. I have a knack to be better able at

(A) reading a paragraph and zeroing in on the point

(B) scanning through a multi-paragraph passage to find specific information


  1. I am normally a reader who

(A) needs more time to process information

(B) can quickly go through a long passage and identify the point


  1. I consider my strength to be more

(A) a strong writing style

(B) a solid understanding of grammar and mechanics


  1. I believe that I need to be able to

(A) attempt every question

(B) random guess quickly toward the end


  1. I tend to be stronger in

(A) algebra and systems of equations

(B) geometry as I have memorized the most relevant formulas


  1. I believe I am better at

(A) interpreting charts and graphs

(B) quantitative thinking and experimental design


  1. I prefer the format of a test be

(A) more variable in terms of skills tested in a section

(B) clearly defined – no overlapping of skills and concepts


  1. When I am presented with statistical information, I prefer to

(A) examine and compare individual pieces of information

(B) broadly analyze the information for trends and patterns


  1. When asked to solve a system of equations in math, I prefer to solve

(A) algebraically

(B) by graphing, either by hand or on a calculator


  1. When solving math problems, my calculator

(A) a useful, but unnecessary aid

(B) an indispensable tool

How to score will be coming next week!


How did your teen fare on the PSAT? What types of reading will help my teen improve his Cross Scores and Subscores – hence overall score?  A good place to start is my recommended reading list.

I also invite you to come in for your complimentary Test Prep Strategy Session  where I will be able to personally go over your students scores, recommend the better exam, project an SAT or ACT score, and provide further recommendations as to how to make that SAT or ACT score goal happen.

Find out more and register for Paul Rivas’ Study Skills Boot Camp.

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