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Comparison and Concordance of the New SAT and ACT

Date of publication: 2017-08-27 08:03

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My son has a composite score of 87 on the ACT with a 86 score in the Math section of the ACT. His composite SAT score was only a 6955 which does not compare well with his 87 on the ACT, but his math SAT score is a 795. Should he submit both his ACT and SAT scores? It appears that a 795 on the math SAT is superior to a 86 math score on the ACT. Appreciate your advice.

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Art,
I am a student who recently scored a 85 composite score on the ACT without writing. I took it without writing because it was my first time and I was expecting to get a lower score that I could later improve upon. I would like to submit this score to the colleges I am applying to, but some of the colleges require the writing portion and will therefore not accept my 85 composite without writing. I plan on retaking the ACT with writing, but I am afraid I will score less than a 85. If I score less than a 85, should I send both my 85 without writing and my lower score with writing? Will colleges like Brown and Stanford even accept this? Thank you for your help.

Yet, the testing agencies responsible for the SAT and ACT hardly make things simple because they don't report to you your raw score (at least not directly in top-level summaries available on score reports). Instead they put your raw scores in the oven - they cook them! Instead of calling your final scores on these tests your cooked scores, they call them your scaled scores. Receiving cooked scores probably would rub people the wrong way. Go figure. Yet, how the SAT and ACT cook their scores is completely different. The SAT inflates and the ACT deflates.

It’s also important to note that one of the major challenges of the ACT is how time pressured it is. The vast majority of students struggle to finish at least one of the ACT sections, and many struggle to finish several of the sections within the time limit. Of course, plenty of students run out of time on the SAT as well in fact, many students and tutors have reported that the new SAT is much more difficult to finish on time than the old SAT. So it may be possible that this oft-noted distinction between the (old) SAT and the ACT is no longer as valid, but we’ll continue monitoring as more students take the test.

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The college admissions tests are locked in a fight for dominance. In just the past two years, both have been updated and revised, in some ways borrowing concepts from one another so that they bear resemblances not seen before.

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