The SAT and ACT are two popular college entrance exams accepted by most four-year colleges and universities. The primary difference between the SAT and ACT is the type of questions asked and the amount of time allotted. The SAT tests reading, writing, and math skills and is composed of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. The SAT also includes an optional essay section. The SAT is three hours long with an additional 50 minutes for the essay. The ACT tests English, math, reading, and science and consists of multiple-choice questions only. The ACT is two hours and 55 minutes long with an additional 40 minutes for the optional essay section.
The SAT focuses on test takers’ reasoning skills and knowledge of academic content, while the ACT focuses on test takers’ understanding of academic content. The SAT emphasizes problem solving and analysis, while the ACT emphasizes knowledge of academic content. The SAT rewards test takers for their ability to think critically and solve problems, while the ACT rewards test takers for their knowledge of academic content and the ability to apply that knowledge.