Testing standardized isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but it’s quite the opposite. What is the point of taking the ACT practice test? Do you think it’s a better choice than the SAT? Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many colleges have become test-optional (either temporarily or permanently) and are wondering if taking the ACT is still worth it.
There is no doubt that standardized test scores are crucial for college admission, but they also have value beyond that. Taking the ACT exam could lead to thousands of dollars in financial aid or a job!
Top 5 Reasons To Take ACT Practice Test
The following are five key reasons to take the ACT practice test.
#1: Test scores are usually required by colleges
Several colleges don’t require scores, including test-optional schools and schools that are completely test-blind. When many students could not take the ACT or SAT because of the Coronavirus pandemic, test-optional policies became much more common.
Some schools have decided to make tests optional a permanent change, but most have made it a temporary change. What are the benefits of taking the ACT in that case? The SAT or ACT is still a prerequisite for many colleges.
Test scores can boost your application even if a school does not require them, helping you stand out from the crowd. By not taking the ACT practice test, you’ll be limited in the colleges you can apply to, and you’ll miss out on the opportunity to make your application stand out.
#2: High-scoring students are eligible for scholarships
Financial aid is often awarded based on merit, and test scores can be an important factor in determining which students receive scholarships. Financial aid may still require test scores even if the schools you’re applying to are test-optional.
If you want to receive financial aid worth tens of thousands of dollars, you should take the ACT practice test, even if it isn’t technically required.
#3: Depending on your state or school, this may be required
If you live in one of the states that require the ACT, you might still take it even if your high school requires it or if you’re applying to colleges that don’t require it. The ACT will be administered at school during the school day in these situations. If you’re not satisfied with how you did on these tests, you are not required to send them to colleges in the same way as any other ACT score.
#4: Taking a test is a requirement for some jobs
There’s no doubt that it is a newer trend, and it may seem odd at first. Despite this, some potential employers prefer to see SAT or ACT results before they hire.
Similarly, this requirement isn’t just a requirement for test prep jobs; it also appears in consulting and finance jobs. This is becoming more common, according to the Wall Street Journal.
So why not take the test now rather than scrambling to take it when employers unexpectedly ask for scores?
#5: ACT May Be Better For You Than SAT
It is now possible to take a standardized test with a variety of options. Although the ACT and SAT share a rivalry, there are some significant differences between them. A summary of four key differences between the ACT and SAT can be found in our article devoted to helping you choose between the two:
There is a Science Section on the ACT
The SAT includes some science passages, but there is no science section in its entirety. A quarter of the final ACT score comes from the science section, which contains 40 questions. Instead of analyzing scientific facts such as photosynthesis or the parts of a cell, ACT Science focuses on graph and data interpretation. Don’t miss out on the ACT if you excel at graphs, charts, and data!
Less Algebra and more Geometry on the ACT
ACT and SAT math exams place a lot of emphasis on algebra. There are also some math topics and skills that the ACT tests that the SAT does not. A large portion of ACT Math is devoted to geometry, which makes up about 30-45%.
A lot of SAT Math questions involve geometry, but less than 10% do. Trigonometry accounts for about 7% of the ACT, while less than 5% of the SAT, so the ACT puts a stronger emphasis on trig than the SAT. Matrixes, graphs of trig functions, and logarithms are also tested on the ACT, which does not.
It depends heavily on your preferences and individual strengths and which math section you prefer. If algebra isn’t your thing, but geometry and trigonometry are your things, take the ACT test. It’s a good idea to take practice tests of both the SAT and ACT math sections and compare your scores to determine which one you enjoy more.
There are no grid-in questions on the ACT
ACT might be right for you if you enjoy multiple-choice questions, especially in math. Although most of the questions are multiple-choice, the SAT also includes student-produced response questions or grid-ins. To answer these questions, you’ll need to enter a numerical value rather than guessing “C” and hoping for the best.
Each subsection of the SAT contains 12 grid-in questions across five (no calculator questions) and eight (calculator questions). However, there are only multiple-choice questions on the ACT Math test. It might be better for you to take the ACT if you’re not a fan of only zero-choice math questions.
ACT Math Test Allows Calculators
Math questions on the SAT have two subsections: a calculator section (38 questions) and a no-calculator section (20 questions). All math questions on the ACT can be answered with a calculator. It is unlikely that a calculator can help the SAT’s no-calculator questions much, but if you really rely on buttons, or just hate doing calculations by hand, then the ACT exam is the test for you.
The Next Step?
To learn more about whether the ACT or SAT is the right test for you, read a more dedicated discussion on whether standardized testing is right for you. There is a possibility that you are sold on the ACT.
How can you get the score you want? Discover why ACT practice test scores are so subjective and what qualifies as a good one.