You know which questions count

On the SAT®, you might spend time on a question without knowing it doesn’t count toward your score. This is not the case on the ACT.

Your ACT subject scores are balanced

Math is half of the SAT score. The ACT math section is only 25% of the test and 25% of your overall score.

You can opt in to win a scholarship from ACT

Opt in to win a $40,000 scholarship and tech package while registering for the ACT test.*

You can improve your scholarship potential

A school counselor found, after 10 years of students taking both the ACT and SAT, that more scholarships favored the ACT.

You won’t be penalized for guessing

ACT has never had a penalty for guessing, so when possible, try not to leave an answer blank.

You can use your calculator for the whole math test—we don’t mind

ACT lets you use your calculator for the entire math section! That is not true onthe SAT.

You’ve already been studying for the ACT for years

The test is designed so by the end of your junior year, you’ve likely covered all the material that you will see on the test.

You can prep for the ACT test for FREE

ACT® Academy™ is the go-to place to get the most comprehensive, FREE, personalized practice for the ACT.

Comparison of the ACT to the SAT*




Accepted at all U.S. Colleges yes yes
Calculator allowed for entire math test yes no
Essay is optional yes yes
No penalty for guessing yes Yes for the new SAT test
Free daily practice questions yes yes
Free comprehensive test practice yes yes
Test fees waived for eligible students yes yes
Fee waiver students eligible for college application fee waiver yes yes
Free score reports yes yes
All tests 1 hour or less yes no
Measures what you learn in high school yes Yes for the new SAT test
You always know which questions count yes no
Testing time 2 hours 55 minutes
+ 40-minute essay (optional)
3 hours
+ 50-minute essay (optional)
Structure 4 tests + optional writing test 3 tests + optional essay
Longest test 1 hr 1 hr 20 min
Shortest test 35 min 35 min
Score range Composite 1–36 (writing domain scores: 2–12) Composite 400–1600 (SAT Essay: reported in 3 dimensions, each 2–8)

*Based on publicly released SAT information.