Is Online Tutoring a Good Option for Your Child?March 7, 2022
CPS IB High SchoolsJuly 20, 2022
Which test should my child take?
We recommend that students take the test they’ll get a better score on. For most students, the ACT is the easier test to prep for and to take. However, for some students, the SAT is a better fit (and that may be especially true with the new digital SAT!). Colleges do not have a preference for one test over the other.
How are the tests similar and different?
The table below will give you a better idea of how the tests compare. If you’re still not sure about the best path for your child, give us a call!
|Digital SAT |
(starting March 2024)
|Format||Paper and pencil|
Online, starting with a pilot program in December 2023 (the test will not be adaptive, and the paper and pencil test will remain an option)
|Paper and pencil||Digital and adaptive (students take the test on a computer, and the test itself will vary from student to student based on how they perform on the first module)|
Paper and pencil will be available only for students with an approved accommodation
|Subjects & Timing||2 hours and 55 minutes for 215 questions|
English: 45 minutes for 75 questions
Math: 60 minutes for 60 questions
Reading: 35 minutes for 40 questions
Science: 35 minutes for 40 questions
Optional Essay: 40 minutes for 1 prompt
|3 hours for 154 questions|
Reading: 65 minutes for 52 questions
Writing & Language: 35 minutes for 44 questions
Math (no calculator): 25 minutes for 20 questions
Math (calculator): 55 minutes for 38 questions
|2 hours and 14 minutes for 98 questions|
Reading & Writing: two modules, each 32 minutes for 27 questions
Math: two modules, each 35 minutes for 22 questions
|Calculator||Allowed on entire math test||Allowed on longer math section||Allowed on entire math test|
|You might prefer this test if…||You do better on straightforward, traditional standardized tests.||You like a traditional standardized test but are looking for more of a challenge than the ACT provides.|
You’d also like more time per section than the ACT allows, and you don’t want a science section.
|You like taking tests on the computer.|
You want a faster-paced, shorter test with less emphasis on the reading format found on traditional standardized tests.
You want more straightforward math work and fewer tough word problems.
|You might find this test to be challenging because…||The timing is tighter than on either SAT.|
There are four long reading passages, each followed by several questions.
The science section can be intimidating.
|The test is more nuanced, requiring strong critical thinking skills.|
There are a good deal of complex word problems.
You are not allowed to use a calculator for a portion of the math test.
|Since the test is adaptive, you need to correctly answer the harder questions in the first module in order to get harder questions in the second module. Accurately answering the more difficult questions is how you get a higher score.|
Doing well requires sharp critical thinking and reasoning skills.
There are unusual question types you may be unfamiliar with.