The summer is the perfect time to prep for college entrance exams; either the ACT or the SAT. But there are some things that are new that could be adding to the problem of deciding which test to take. Most importantly you need to match the right test for the right student, in addition Michigan is now a ‘SAT’ state. This means that in the spring these juniors will be taking the brand new SAT through their high schools. Just because the SAT is offered at your high school, you can still pay to take the ACT elsewhere. So which really is better? Recently, the ACT surpassed the SAT as the most frequently-taken college entrance exam, and colleges couldn’t care less which one you take – they just want high scores.

To answer your question “but which is best?” you need to know more about the student, how they learn; are they a creative thinker or do they like to memorizing content. Perhaps they struggle with standardized test, then they may be better off with the ACT because there is a lot of practice material and the content is presented in a consistent way. It goes without saying that there are also random differences in formatting, number of questions, number of sections, etc., you can access all of the difference on the web to help you make your choice.

We advise students to still prep for the ACT and take it on their own, not through the high school, in the fall of the Junior Year and then again in the spring of the Junior Year, here is why:

  1. Right now, because of the volatility with the Redesigned SAT, we can’t predict the difficulty of the test or how the scores will compare to past tests. Since test scores are so important in the college application process we do not want our students to depend solely on this new test.
  2. Prepping for both the ACT and the SAT tests is complimentary. If you prep for the ACT it will help you with the SAT and vice versa, especially since the new SAT is designed to be more like the ACT.
  3. Michigan schools have been teaching to the ACT for years. Most students most likely have taken the Explore and/or Plan tests to prepare them for the ACT.
  4. ALL colleges will take either the ACT or SAT.

Junior year is a very important year for students since colleges take a very close look at what is accomplished this year and prepping for the college entrance exam should not be an added stress for the student. By spending some time taking some free test preps that are available, along with using our recommended product ePrep, you should take the mystery out of which test to go for and also feel confident that you select the right one for you.