SAT and ACT Considerations


At least for now, most colleges still require a minimum score on one or the other of these standardized tests in order to confer admission..

Abigail Woolard, Co- Editor-in-Chief

The SAT and the ACT. When students hear these acronyms they think of them  vaguely as just as some tests that you have to take in high school. Some haven’t even heard of the ACT (the American College Test) because while some colleges require it, it is not the required summative assessment for all West Virginia grade 11 students. That distinction belongs to the SAT (formerly known as the Scholastic Assessment Test). Some students are surprised to learn that that their college may require the ACT in addition to the SAT. Both standardized tests are just a way for colleges to see how proficient students are when it comes to the core subjects of math, English, science, and social studies. Scores help colleges know what level classes incoming freshmen should be in.

The good thing is there are many ways to prepare for both tests. Technology puts everything students need at their fingertips with apps such as Aleks, College Board, and Khan Academy. Students can even order hard copy test prep books to familiarize themselves with testing protocols and formats. If you can understand how a test works, and learn what all the fancy wording means, then you can ace it. 

Let’s say you struggle on the SAT. Don’t worry, it isn’t the only test that determines whether you are admitted to a college. You also have the ACT. Some people say the SAT is easier than the ACT and some say it is harder. In the end, I would recommend you take both just because doing so gives you a chance to see which test is easiest for you, and which you might plan to retake to increase your score.