Difference between SAT and ACT
Updated on Mar 18, 2017 - 3:03 p.m. IST by Team Careers360

SAT - SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is typically taken by students who are in Classes 11 and 12. It tests students on their ability to use skills and knowledge they have acquired in and outside the classroom—including how they think, solve problems, and communicate. It is believed to be one of the best predictors of how well students will do in college. It is a paper-based test and includes different question types, including: a student-produced essay, multiple-choice questions, and student-produced responses (grid-ins). Each section of SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800; the maximum possible score is 2400! SAT comprises 10 total testing sections with three types of sections interspersed in a random fashion.


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ACT - 
The ACT test, formerly the American College Testing programme, is an alternative to the SAT. It consists of 4 multiple-choice tests and an optional Writing Test. Math focuses on basic algebra skills through to beginning level trigonometry skills. Reading focuses on the Arts and Literature, and Science focuses on evaluation and problem-solving skills. The optional Writing Test is similar to the SAT essay question. Students must write a short essay assigned to them. The actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes. The writing part takes an additional 30 minutes. Each of the tests is graded on a one to 36 scale, with the optional essay adding points to the total score. The test is offered in India at centres in selected cities. Not all centres are scheduled to hold test on every test date. Most scores are available online within 2 ½ weeks after each national or international test date.


  •  ACT, an achievement test, measures what a student has learned in school. SAT is more of an aptitude test, measuring reasoning and verbal abilities. 


  •  ACT has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science and an optional Writing Test. SAT has only 3 components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics and a required Writing Test. 


  •  ACT continues to offer its well-established test, plus an optional writing test. You take the ACT Writing Test only if required by the college (s) you’re applying to. The College Board introduced a new version of SAT in 2005, with a mandatory writing test.


  •  SAT has a correction for guessing. That is, they deduct for wrong answers. ACT score is based on the number of correct answers and has no penalty for guessing. 


  •  You can ask the ACT to release only the record from the test date you request. SAT recently allowed this facility but it has not been accepted across colleges in the US.

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Questions related to SAT

Showing 48 out of 48 Questions

the cutoff for qualifying was40% in both sat,mat in sat i have scored 48 and in mat 40 but i have not been selected why when i have scored 40%in both?

vignesh 21st Feb, 2020

Dear Daniyel,

Both the SAT and the MAT exams that you have taken are strictly percentile based.

Applicants appeared for the exams would have got more percentile that yours and that would be the reason for your rejection.

However you can take the exam in the next session and try scoring a percentile of more than 85 which may be a better chance to get qualified.

Best of luck.


hi sir jee 2020 my percentel 96.5141161.my home state Karnataka . sc category wide i want computer science course seat in you college pl send me answer.

Singampalli sai rahul Student Expert 14th Feb, 2020
Hello aspirant,

Based on your percentile score and cadte I will list out the top colleges in which you can get a seat in CSE Branch-

  • IIIT Delhi - Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIITD)
  • DTU - Delhi Technological University (DCE)
  • Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology
  • UIET - University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University

Jee Mains college predictor tool-https://engineering.careers360.com/jee-main-college-predictor

What is the difference between subject SAT test and General SAT ???If one has to give SAT for biology what will be the syllabus ???

hrithik jain 10th Feb, 2020


The main and the biggest difference is that General SAT tests for the general Knowledge and critical reasoning while SAT subject test your knowledge in specific areas say: biology, math etc.

Also, General SAT is around 3 hours paper whereas, SAT subject is a 1 hour paper. General SAT is offered for around 7 times a year and SAT Subject is offered for like 6 times a year that too, depending on the subject (date wise).

There are two test for SAT Biology- Biology (E) and Biology (M), you cannot take both of them on the same date. (E) stands for Ecological and (M) for Molecular. The syllabus topics are as follows:

1. Cellular and Molecular Biology- 15%(E) and 27%(M)

2. Ecology - 23%(E) and 13%(M)

3. Genetics - 15%(E) and 20%(M)

4. Organismal Biology- 25%(E) and 25%(M)

5.  Evolution and Diversity - 22%(E) 15%(M )

*Consider these figures to be approximate and cross check before finalizing.


Can I get admission into IIT or NIT based on my SAT subject test scores?? if so how to apply for it???

Koyel Bagchi 8th Feb, 2020


No iit or nit can not accepts sat.

Because the majority of students are selects here through jee not by their talents. Even if the pattern of jee is changed then also it is not similar as sat.

Hope it helps you.

Thank you.


I am going to complete my 11th standard in March 2020.Then can I write SAT exam in the month of June 2020.

AnkiT KunwaR 3rd Feb, 2020
Hello Aspirant,

Basically there is no eligibility criteria specifically for SAT 2020. Generally candidates can opt for the exam in their junior or senior years of high school (Indian Grades 11th or 12th), to be precise, aspirants are roughly between 17 or 18 years of age.

So, you will be eligible for SAT 2020.

Good Luck
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