SAT and ACT Updates Due to COVID-19
IMPORTANT: Updated as of May 11, 2020
Please be aware that there are new SAT and ACT updates regarding test dates in New York State due to the evolving COVID-10 pandemic. Therefore, all dates are subject to change based on environmental circumstances and decisions made by the Department of Education. See below for new dates and revisions. This includes changes only made in New York State.
May 2, 2020 – CANCELLED
May 28, 2020 (Reschedule Date for March 14)- CANCELLED
June 6, 2020- CANCELLED
April 4, 2020- RESCHEDULED to June 13, 2020
Should I Take the SAT or ACT?
The SAT and ACT tend to be the two of the scariest 3-acronym phrases to most high school students. These forms of standardized testing exams are often used by colleges to determine how “prepared” a student is for college. All colleges accept and value both exams exactly the same. However, many have prioritized the SAT over the ACT for so long because of its popularity. Oftentimes, these exams help your application stand out to admission officers; if your GPA isn’t too high, a high SAT/ ACT score can “even” that out. Even more so, it is used by many colleges to determine how to distribute scholarship money in thousands of dollars.
|Registration||Registration is done through the College Board website or fill out and mail in the appropriate form.||Registration is done through the ACT website online.|
|Length||3 hours (without essay)3 hours + 50 minutes (with essay)||2 hours + 55 minutes (without essay)3 hours + 40 minutes (with essay)|
|Topics||Reading: 65 minutes- 52 questions|
Writing: 35 minutes- 44 questions
Math: 80 minutes- 58 questionsNo Calc- 25 minutes 20 questions
Calc- 55 minutes- 38 questionsEssay: 50 minutes (including 650-750 word reading article)
|English: 45 minutes- 75 questions|
Reading: 35minutes- 40 questions
Science: 35 minutes- 40 questionsMath: 60 minutes- 60 questionsEssay: 40 minutes (including reading article with 3 stances on a topic)
|Essay||This type of essay analyzes the article and explains how the author explains his/her argument. The essay is optional, but recommended as some schools require this)||This type of essay allows you to take a stance on the given article- whether you agree or disagree with the author. The essay is optional, but recommended as some schools require this.|
|Calculator Use||There are 2 sections, one in which you do not use any calculator, and one where you may use an approved calculator.||Students are allowed to use an approved calculator on all math questions of the exam.|
|Cost||$57.50 without Essay$64.50 with Essay||$50.50 without Writing$67.00 with Writing|
|Score||Total score ranges from 400-1600||The composite score ranges from 1-36.|
Due to COVID-19, test dates and registration deadlines are changing every day. The Gooroo team will be providing SAT and ACT updates for test dates below to keep you in the loop.
|Test Date||Registration Deadline||Late Registration Deadline||Online Score Release|
|May 2, 2020 (SAT)||CANCELED||CANCELED||CANCELED|
|May 28, 2020 (SAT)||CANCELED||CANCELED||CANCELED|
|June 6, 2020 (SAT)||CANCELED||CANCELED||CANCELED|
|June 13, 2020 (ACT)||May 8, 2020||May 22, 2020***||June 23, 2020|
|July 18, 2020 (ACT)**||June 19, 2020||June 26, 2020||July 28, 2020|
|August 29, 2020 (SAT)||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|September 26, 2020 (SAT)*||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|October 3, 2020 (SAT)||TBD||TBD||TBD|
**No tests scheduled in New York for this date
***Late fees waived
Though the ACT generally has more elementary questions than the SAT, it is extremely important to keep in mind that it is more fast-paced. The SAT gives more time to complete each section, but each question requires more time to complete, which makes sense, since it is more inquiry based. The ACT, on the other hand, requires you to finish each section in a more limited amount of time. Based on this, you can choose which exam is best for you and take advantage of your options!
|Reading||75 seconds/question||53 seconds/question|
|ACT English/SAT Writing||48 seconds/question||36 seconds/question|
|Math||No Calculator: 75 seconds/questionCalculator: 87 seconds/question||60 seconds/question|
The SAT and ACT have both changed drastically over the past few years. As of December 2019, the ACT is out of 36 and the SAT is out of 1600. Your score on the ACT is comprised of your average on the 4 multiple-choice sections. On the other hand, your SAT score is the sum of your Math and English scores- each out of 800. The essay portions of both these exams are a separate grade. For the ACT, it is out of 9, and for the SAT, it is out of 12, based on the type of scoring for each section.
Here’s an approximate score equivalence chart to compare between the ACT and SAT:
|ACT COMP||SAT TOTAL||SAT RANGE|
So, how do I decide which test to take?
To be sure which type of test is better for you, your best bet would be to take a full-length diagnostic exam of both the SAT and ACT, both of which can be found on their respective websites, and analyze your results. Furthermore, see how many you got right, which type of questions you got wrong, how long it took you, and how you generally feel afterward. Based on all these evaluations, you will be able to play to your strengths. Additionally, some also opt to take both exams multiple times so he/she is able to pick and choose scores to send to colleges.