Juniors and Seniors Weigh pros, cons of taking ACT, SAT or both

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Juniors and Seniors Weigh pros, cons of taking ACT, SAT or both

Noah Tjandra, Staff Writer

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With college application deadlines approaching, students need to make sure that they’ve taken the ACT or SATs required to enter many institutions. Taking the tests early will give you time to wait for the results, so that you’ll have your scores before your college applications are due. But which of the two tests should you take? Here are some of the pros and cons of the two tests according to a few test takers.

Pros Cons Pros Cons
1.      Provided free by district (junior year)

2.      Straightforward math questions

3.      Easier writing portion; taught in class

4.      Calculator allowed

5.      Tests high school subjects

6.      No penalty for guessing


1.      Limited time (49 secs per question)

2.      More questions (215)

3.      Focuses on concrete information (memorization)

4.      Formula sheet not provided

5.      Reading section has more questions than time allocated

6.      Science section requires more studying


1.      More time to do questions (1min, 10 secs per question)

2.      Fewer questions (154)

3.      Math formula sheet provided

4.      Khan Academy provides a personalized test space

5.      Fee waivers provided

6.      No penalty for guessing

7.      Provides separate subject tests

8.      Many schools superscore (take highest score from all past exams)


1.      Pay on your own

2.      Calculator not allowed for one of the two sections

3.      Tests some college math

4.      Questions are tricky

5.      Sophisticated reading passages