The ACT and SAT exams are the most common tests used by college admission officer to see if a student is ready for college. But these tests are also tied to the financial aspects of the students college application process. Therefore, these test scores are vitally important in the college financial planning process. Have you ever considered the difference between the two tests?
According to the College Planning Network “The ACT is considered to be a curriculum-based exam, meaning it is based on material you may have already seen in the classroom. The new SAT is now aligned with the Common Core. It will be more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education.” Another thought to consider is that each student tests differently. The ACT may suit a particular student better than the SAT. And of course the opposite can also be true. You can see a comparison here.
To further complicate the issue, the SAT has been revised. Here are a couple of changes for the new SAT:
- The essay will be optional
- Obscure vocabulary words are eliminated and replaced by words that are more commonly used in college and employment.
- Mathematics questions focus on three areas: problem solving and data analysis, algebra, and passport to advanced math.
- Questions require multiple steps to get an answer.
- and more
The decision on which test to take is vitally important to college success. Here are a few reasons why. First, test scores are critical to a students college opportunities. If test scores are low, certain colleges may not be interested in the student. Second, test scores are tied to the financial aid awards. Most merit-based scholarships are tied directly to ACT and SAT scores. While some colleges are breaking with this tradition, most still place a high value on ACT and SAT test scores.
Make sure you evaluate which test may be the best for your student. A little investment of time up front may gain you thousands of dollars in college assistance.