Both the SAT and ACTs are standardized examinations for students wishing to study at reputed colleges in the United States.
Most of these colleges accept either the SAT or the ACT score without giving any preference to one over the other. This is because many students appear for only one examination out of the two.
However, many others feel that taking both tests increases their chances of scoring well. In more than 171 countries all over the world, nearly 3 million students appear for the SAT, while an almost-equal number appear for the ACT.
If you’re confused about whether you should appear for just one exam or take both, here are a few guidelines on why taking both exams will benefit you!
1. Improves your preparation
When you have to sit for only one exam, you prepare solely for it. But when you know you need to take both, your scope of preparation widens and improves. In addition, you equip yourself with more questions and examination patterns, which only enhances your knowledge.
If you’re applying to the top colleges, you need to create a stellar application. So, naturally, you’ll feel the need to take the SAT or the ACT test more than once to achieve the desirable scores.
But if you take both these exams simultaneously, it will give you a clear picture of your strengths and the areas that need some work. After all, the results of two exams, instead of one, gives you a more solid base to rely on.
2. The Admissions Committee will receive more information
Did you know that Princeton University’s Dean has been reported to say that “more information is always better”? So even if you take just the SAT or the ACT, it’s fine, but taking both of them will let the Admissions Committee of any college know you better.
In fact, reputed institutions such as Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech, and the University of Virginia, to name a few, have said that more than 25% of their applicants have taken both entrance tests.
So, when the Admissions Committee gets to know more about you, your chances of being selected (or even rejected) increase.
3. You get more opportunities
If you opt to take up both exams, you can choose the scores of the paper that got you better marks. This way, if you fail to seize one opportunity, that doesn’t mean a dead end.
Further, since the difficulty level is different for every exam, it’s practically impossible to pick which one will help you score better. So if you appear for both, you maximize your chances of achieving your score goal.
4. There is more flexibility when choosing exam dates
No matter which exam you are taking, planning ahead is crucial. And it becomes all the more important when you need to prepare ahead for two major exams.
If you plan to take both the SAT and the ACT, you will naturally get more flexibility regarding choosing your exam dates. And this can give you an added advantage over others who are sitting for just one exam.
Both these tests have seven (Saturday) test dates yearly, so you can figure out how to sit for both without clashing your prep or the dates. This kind of flexibility is especially important to senior students who have just a few dates left before submitting their college applications.
5. You have a backup plan
If you decide to take both the SAT and the ACT, you can be sure that even if something goes horribly wrong and you’re not able to take one test, you will show up for the other.
No one knows what can happen on D-day. Your car could break down, you could catch a bad fever, and anything else might happen.
So even in the worst-case scenario where you fail to turn up for one exam, you will still have a second shot.
Over to you…
These are a few reasons why taking both the SAT and ACT exams is a great idea. However, if you feel that you don’t have enough time, you can sit for either because no college will ask for both test scores.
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