FORMAT AND LENGTH

The new SAT will require similar skills and test similar content to that of the ACT and current SAT. Many of the changes that has been introduced in the new SAT’s format will make it look a lot like the ACT, but the SAT will retain its focus as an aptitude test. Among the biggest changes to the SAT are a sharper focus on critical-thinking, an emphasis on real-world problems, a new scoring system, and an overhaul of the essay section.

Overall, the redesigned SAT will place a bigger emphasis on problem-solving and understanding context. Comparatively, the ACT will remain more of an achievement test, requiring a broad knowledge of many concepts, as well as considerable speed and endurance.

If we compare the format and length of all the three types of standardized tests, the current SAT has 10 short sections comprising of 3 critical reading, 3 mathematics, 3 writing sections including essay and one experimental section that is not scored.

The questions have 5 answer choices, and the total testing time is 3 hours 45 minutes.

The new redesigned SAT consists of 5 long sections, comprising of 3 tests and an optional essay.

It is made up of writing and language, reading, 2 mathematics, and one essay section.

The total testing time increases by 5 minutes that is from 3 hours 45 minutes in the old SAT to 3 hours 50 minutes in the new SAT
The ACT is similar to the redesigned ACT with 5 long sections, comprising of 4 tests and an optional essay.

The sections consist of English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and writing an optional essay. Unlike the current SAT the ACT is similar to that of the redesigned SAT and most questions have 4 answer choices. However, mathematics has 5 options,
The total testing time is 3 hours and 25 minutes, including the essay.

SCORING : NEW SAT Vs OLD SAT TEST

For the current SAT, the combined score ranges from 600-2400 with the critical reasoning, mathematics, and writing scores in the range of 200-800 each.

The writing score is comprised of Multiple Choice and Essay sub scores, and ¼ point is deducted for each wrong answer.

In case, of the new SAT the combined score ranges from 400-1600, Where the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and the math score range from 200-800.
The essay score is reported separately.

The Cross-Test scores report performance on Science and History or social studies across the entire test.

Unlike the current SAT, there is no deduction for incorrect answers.

If we talk about the ACT the composite score ranges from 1-36, which is the average of 4 tests, that is English, Mathematics, reading and science.
You must note that- the writing score is not factored into composite score, and the combined English or writing scores are provided separately that range from 1-36.

Just like the new SAT, there is no deduction for incorrect answers.

Now let us compare the individual   sections of current SAT, new SAT, and ACT

The Writing/English section of the current SAT will ask you to:

Identify and correct errors in single sentences, based on

  • Standard English grammar and usage, and
  • Punctuation not tested

Whereas the writing section of the New SAT section will ask you to
Revise and edit a piece of writing for, logical structure, and effective rhetoric, based on

  • Standard English grammar and usage
  • Punctuation
  • Logical structure
  • Effective rhetoric
  • Includes informational graphics

Coming to the ACT the English Writing/English section will ask you to Revise and edit a piece of writing for, logical structure, and effective rhetoric. The section is based on

  • Standard English grammar and usage
  • Punctuation
  • Logical structure
  • Effective rhetoric
  • Commonly confused words

MATH: NEW SAT Vs OLD SAT TEST

If we compare the mathematics sections of the three tests, the current SAT is all about Arithmetic, Algebra 1 and 2, and Geometry

You will have to apply core math skills to solve mostly non-standard, “tricky” problems and the formulas will be provided to help you solving the problems.
There will be 10 Grid-In questions with no answer choices.

The new SAT will focus on Pre- Algebra through basic Trigonometry.
Strong emphasis will be given on Algebra. A calculator will be provided on one section.

There will be 12 Grid in questions and no choices will be provided.

One extended thinking question will carry 4 points.

In comparison to the current SAT, the ACT is similar to the new SAT where the focus is on Pre-Algebra through basic Trigonometry. In this section, your math and extensive range of concepts will be put to a test. Major emphasis will be given on word problems, and you won’t be provided with formulas.

READING : NEW SAT VS OLD SAT TEST

If we compare the reading sections of the 3 tests.

The current SAT is purely focused on Vocabulary based sentence completions. The section is comprised of a total of 7 short and long reading passages and you will find many inferences, tone and purpose questions. The questions follow the order of passage.

Whereas, in the new SAT vocabulary is de-emphasized, and the section will have 4 long passages and 1 paired passage, where 2 passages include diagrams or charts, and you will find one passage from the U.S founding document.

In comparison to the new SAT, the ACT contains 4 long passages, and a very little emphasis is given to vocabulary. You will come across straightforward questions that require close reading of the passage.

The order of the questions is random and you will get less time per question.

SCIENCE: NEW SAT Vs OLD SAT TEST

The current SAT does not have a science section so does the new SAT, but you will still find the science questions, included throughout the Math, Reading, and writing and language tests.

However, the ACT tests do have a science section, where 40 questions are distributed over 7 passages. Major emphasis is given on charts, diagrams, etc.
Do note that, science is a reason test that rarely requires prior science knowledge.

Finally, let us discuss the essay section, and understand from one test to another.

The essay section of the current SAT will always be the 1st section, and will allot you 25 minutes.

The theme will be broad and you can approach it formulaically or creatively.
But the essay section of the new SAT will always come at last and you will have to complete the section within 50 minutes.

You will be asked to analyse a passage and evaluate the author’s reason and rhetoric.

The section does not encourage options, and the essay is scored on a 2-8 scale which is based on 3 traits; reading, analysis and writing.

If we consider the ACT, the section has to be completed within 30 minutes and just like the new SAT, the section will always come at last.
The topic will be narrow and relevant to high school students.
The section demands a more structured response.
It is an optional section, but is required by most schools.

NEW SAT VS ACT: COMPETITIVE FACTORS

NEW SAT vs ACT

Now that we already know, the SAT has undergone a transformation and a lot many changes have taken place, staring from the question format, scoring, writing, reading, essay etc.

In this section we will thoroughly compare the new SAT with the current ACT, evaluate the changes, and help you find an answer to the most common question, that is which test will be a better option to take.

But first, let us understand what has changed and how does the redesigned SAT compare to the ACT

Let us have a look at the FORMAT AND LENGTH of the respective tests

The new SAT will require similar skills and test similar content to that of the ACT and current SAT. Many of the changes made to the new SAT’s format will make it look a lot like the ACT, but the SAT will retain its focus as an aptitude test. Among the biggest changes to the SAT are a sharper focus on critical-thinking, an emphasis on real-world problems, a new scoring system, and an overhaul of the essay section.

Overall, the redesigned SAT will place a bigger emphasis on problem-solving and understanding context. Comparatively, the ACT will remain more of an achievement test, requiring a broad knowledge of many concepts, as well as considerable speed and endurance.

The new redesigned SAT consists of 5 long sections, comprising of 3 tests and an optional essay.

It is made up of writing and language, reading, 2 mathematics, and one essay section.

The new SAT consists of writing and language, reading, 2 math sections and essay, but if you compare it with the ACT, the ACT consists of English and science as additional subjects, but the writing section requires you to write an optional essay, which may or may not be required. Unlike the current SAT the ACT is similar to that of the redesigned SAT and most questions have 4 answer choices. However, mathematics has 5 options.

The total testing time of the new SAT is 3 hours 50 minutes, including the essay, whereas the ACTs testing time is shortened by 25 minutes and it allots a maximum time limit of 3 hours, 25 minutes that includes the essay.

SCORING : ACT Vs SAT

In case, of the new SAT the combined score ranges from 400-1600, Where the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and the math score range from 200-800.
The essay score is reported separately.

The Cross-Test scores report performance on Science and History or social studies across the entire test.
The best part is that, there is no deduction for incorrect answers.

If we talk about the ACT the composite score ranges from 1-36, which is the average of 4 tests, that is English, Mathematics, reading and science.
You must note that- the writing score is not factored into composite score, and the combined English or writing scores are provided separately that range from 1-36.

Just like the new SAT, there is no deduction for incorrect answers.

Now let us compare the individual   sections of the new SAT, and the ACT-

The Writing/English section of the new SAT will ask you to:

Revise and edit a piece of writing for, logical structure, and effective rhetoric, it will also evaluate your-

  • Standard English grammar and usage
  • Punctuation
  • logical structure
  • Effective rhetoric

The section also includes informational graphics

Coming to the ACT the English Writing/English section will ask you to Revise and edit a piece of writing for, logical structure, and effective rhetoric. The section is based on

  • Standard English grammar and usage
  • punctuation
  • Logical structure
  • Effective rhetoric and
  • Focuses on the commonly confused words

MATH : ACT Vs SAT

If we compare the mathematics sections of the two tests,

The new SAT will focus on Pre- Algebra through basic Trigonometry.Strong emphasis will be given on Algebra. A calculator will be provided on one section. There will be 12 Grid in questions and no choices will be provided.One extended thinking question will carry 4 points.

The ACT is similar to the new SAT where the focus is on Pre-Algebra through basic Trigonometry. In this section, your math and extensive range of concepts will be put to a test. Major emphasis will be given on word problems, and you won’t be provided with formulas.

READING : ACT Vs SAT

Taking a look at the reading sections of 2 tests, namely the new SAT and ACT.

For the new SAT, vocabulary is de-emphasized, and the section will have 4 long passages and 1 paired passage, where 2 passages include diagrams or charts, and you will find one passage from the U.S founding document.

In comparison to the new SAT, the ACT contains 4 long passages, and a very little emphasis is given to vocabulary. You will come across straightforward questions that require close reading of the passage.

The order of the questions is random and you will get less time per question.

The new SAT does not have a separate section for science, but you will still find the science questions, included throughout the Math, Reading, and writing and language tests.

However, the ACT tests do have a science section, where 40 questions are distributed over 7 passages. Major emphasis is given on charts, diagrams, etc.
Do note that, science is a reason test that rarely requires prior science knowledge.

ESSAY: ACT Vs SAT

Finally, let us discuss the essay section, and gain a deeper insight on the two standardized tests.

The essay section of the new SAT will always come at last and you will have to complete the section within 50 minutes.

You will be asked to analyze a passage and evaluate the author’s reasoning and rhetoric.

The section does not encourage options, and the essay is scored on a 2-8 scale which is based on 3 traits; reading, analysis and writing.

One important thing to note- in this section a student will not be encouraged to give his or her opinion.

If we consider the ACT, the section has to be completed within 30 minutes and just like the new SAT, the section will always come at last.

The topic will be narrow and relevant to high school students.

The section demands a more structured response.

It is an optional section, but is required by most schools.

We have covered every minute detail about the current SAT test, new SAT test, and the ACT test. We have also done a comparative analysis of the 3 tests, to help you understand the differences.