We frequently advise parents and students on how to get the best ACT or SAT results while fitting test preparation into the student’s life. Standardized tests are an important piece of the college admissions process. However, so are grades, extra-curricular activities, essays, and the student’s social life and overall well-being. Therefore, we have to balance tutoring for standardized tests with everything else. Along the way, we often have to do some myth busting!
We have one important strategy that helps students work smarter, not harder when preparing for these tests. Choose one test.
Two common misconceptions are that colleges prefer either the SAT or ACT and that you have to take both tests. Neither is true! Where do these myths come from? In the past, many East Coast and West Coast schools accepted only the SAT, while Midwest schools preferred the ACT.
On January 25, 2007, Harvey Mudd was the last college in the United States to change their policy and accept both the ACT and SAT. Since then, every college in the United States accepts the ACT or SAT and has no preference as to which test is submitted.
This is why students should choose the test they do better on and prepare for only that one. While many students achieve similar scores on both tests, some students will score higher on one or the other and should take advantage of this. After all, colleges prefer the test with the higher score!
Not sure which test is best for your child? Contact us! We’re happy to provide free ACT and SAT diagnostics and recommend which test is a better fit.