A short overview
SAT and ACT are both tests used for admission to US universities and colleges.
- If you are not going to study in the USA, then you do not need to do one of these tests.
- If you are going to study in the USA, then you can check the following website that gives an updated list of SAT/ACT optional universities and colleges. SAT/ACT Optional units
If in doubt, email the University/College and ask.
- If your University/College does not require SAT/ACT, then you do not need to test.
SAT is scored between 400-1600 and ACT 1-36. Both are multiple choice-based tests except for the optional essay writing section.
Introducing the SAT Tests
There are two types of SAT Test
- SAT Reasoning Test (formerly called SAT 1). Multiple choice sections on Math and English followed by an optional essay.
- SAT Subject Tests (formerly called SAT 2).
- Math: Level 1 and Level 2
- Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics
- English (Literature)
- History: US History, World History
- Languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Japanese and Korean
N.B Not all SAT Subject tests are available on every test date and at every test center
Which SAT subject tests should I take?
The SAT Subject Tests that you take should be based on your interests and academic strengths. The tests are a good way to show colleges your interest in specific majors or programs of study (e.g., engineering, pre-med. etc. ), and to highlight your strong points. Play to your strengths!
SAT Test dates 2021-22
August 28th, October 2nd, November 6th, December 4th, March 12th , May 7th, June 4th
- No SAT Subject tests on March 12th, 2022.
- Not all Test centers will offer all SAT Subject Tests on any given test date.
- Registration deadlines are approximately 3-4 weeks before the test date.
Details here SAT Registration deadlines
- The Official SAT Study Guide can be purchased online at SAT Prep books
- The Collegeboard’s Official SAT Online Course. Plus past papers to practice on. SAT Online Prep course
More details about the SAT Tests
|Reading Test||52 questions||65 minutes||Measures ability to understand written text|
|Mathematics||58 questions||80 minutes||Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12 – problem solving, data analysis and equations|
|Writing and Language Test||44 questions||35 minutes||Measures the interpretation, analysis and evaluation of a text|
|Optional Writing Test– Essay||50 minutes||Explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience. Support your explanation with evidence from the passage.|
Introducing the ACT Test
The ACT test is a test of English, Math and Science. It is multiple choice except for the optional writing test
ACT Test dates
- Normally 7 per year – September, October, December, February, April, June, July
- Dates not available for 2021-22
Register for ACT
- ACT (No Writing Test) $55
- ACT with writing $70
ACT Test prep
Online course plus Test prep books
|English||75 questions||45 minutes||Measures standard written English and rhetorical skills.|
|Mathematics||60 questions||60 minutes||Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12.|
|Reading||40 questions||35 minutes||Measures reading comprehension.|
|Science||40 questions||35 minutes||Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences.|
|Optional Writing Test||1 prompt||40 minutes||Measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.|
SAT and ACT Tests… a comparison
|When is it offered?||August, October, November, December, March, May, June||September, October, December, February, April, June, July|
|What is the test structure?||3 tests + optional essay||4 tests + optional writing test|
|Timing of Test||3 hours + 50 min essay (optional)||2 hours 55 mins + 45-minute essay (optional)|
|Scoring||400–1600. (Essay scored separately)||1-36|
|Test sections and timing||
Writing and Language Test
|Are scores sent to colleges?||You choose which scores to send||You choose which scores to send|
|Website to register for test||www.collegeboard.org||www.act.org|