Hello Patchiers, [Patchians? that sounds too much like Patch-yinz].
I'm Phil McCaffrey, a local tutor and teacher who specializes in college prep. Welcome to my Patch Education Blog.
Many students and parents have asked me about taking the ACT verses the SAT. This is the first in a series of blogs about the two tests.
In years past mid-western students mostly took the ACT out of Des Moines, Iowa. East coast and west coast students took the SAT out of New York. Millions of high school students take both tests. They picked which test to take based on where the college was located. If you applied to The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, you took the SAT. But if you applied to Washington Unveristy in St. Louis, you took the ACT.
The SAT was the dominate player in the test prep market for 100 years with more students registering and taking the SAT. But last year a strange thing occured, more students took the ACT than the SAT. There are several reasons.
The explosion in college admissions is the primary reason. More students apply to college now than ever before. And more students apply to multiple schools. It is not unusual for a student to apply to a dozen schools. Students want, no, need an edge to get in to their top choice. So many have decided to take both tests and see which one makes them a better candidate.
East coast schools have started treating the ACT as the SAT's equal. Not too far from Pittsburgh is the SAT/ACT border. Students in Ohio take the ACT, mostly. Here students take the SAT. Since schools take both, students do as well.
The ACT has a reputation as being "easier" than the SAT. But easier is a relative term. What is easier to one student is not to another. There are structure and content differences, but one is not easier than the other across the board. I'll blog on the structure and how to decide which to take.
Because of the nasty reputation of the SAT, I think more students in traditional SAT turf are turning to the ACT as an option. Whereas the traditional ACT areas are quite pleased with their more "friendly" test and say no thank you to the SAT.
Up next: Structure of the tests