Emypeach
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Hi,

I'm going into Year 11 and intend to either take the SAT or the ACT this year. I would like to go to a very good university (like Harvard or Stanford) so I am aiming for a near perfect test score.

I bought the official guides for both and did a practice test for each without having read the books or having done any preparation to see which one I'm naturally better at. I didn't time myself and didn't do it all in one sitting.

My score for the SAT was around 2000-2050 and my score for the ACT was 32-33. I didn't want to do the essays so it's difficult to work out my exact score. However, the essay is something I am fairly confident about doing well on as that kind of writing is one of my strengths.

I think I found the ACT easier (and it looks like I scored better on that) but I found it really boring because all the questions for each section are grouped together. The SAT was harder but less dull. How does the exam work in terms of breaks etc?

As I'll have to start practising soon, I need to decide which one to take. I think I should probably take the ACT but I wanted some more opinions.

Thanks very much!
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feyy
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Ultimately, go with your gut, not what strangers on the internet say.

My opinion: you are better at the ACT. The tests are meant to test you, not entertain you. Go with it. But practise the essay; don't become complacent.
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Emypeach
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(Original post by feyy)
Ultimately, go with your gut, not what strangers on the internet say.

My opinion: you are better at the ACT. The tests are meant to test you, not entertain you. Go with it. But practise the essay; don't become complacent.
Thank you for your advice. This is true I will practise very hard; I want to get as close to 36 as possible!
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apple32
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You may actually need to take both. The SAT 1 you definitely need to take to get into a US university. Most unis also require the ACT. I would just check the international students entry requirements for the unis you are interested in attending.
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feyy
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(Original post by apple32)
You may actually need to take both. The SAT 1 you definitely need to take to get into a US university. Most unis also require the ACT. I would just check the international students entry requirements for the unis you are interested in attending.
This is wrong. You do not need to take both the SAT1 and the ACT at all. You may, however, need to take SAT Subject Tests too. Verify on the admissions websites of each college to be sure.
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apple32
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(Original post by feyy)
This is wrong. You do not need to take both the SAT1 and the ACT at all. You may, however, need to take SAT Subject Tests too. Verify on the admissions websites of each college to be sure.
Thanks for catching that!
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Emypeach
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(Original post by feyy)
This is wrong. You do not need to take both the SAT1 and the ACT at all. You may, however, need to take SAT Subject Tests too. Verify on the admissions websites of each college to be sure.
Yes, I will be taking Math II, Physics and a few languages.
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ForlornUnicorn
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(Original post by Emypeach)
Yes, I will be taking Math II, Physics and a few languages.
3 or 4 Subject Tests are enough for most schools, and some only look at your two best ones (Dartmouth, for example). Also, many schools (albeit not Ivies, I think) accept the ACT+Writing in place of the Subject Tests.

If money is an issue, keep this in mind, because international fees are quite high.
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Emypeach
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So ACT then?
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ckotool
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take both! Most people do well in one or the other. I personally did not do very well on the SAT's but very well on the ACT!

Most American students take both early on in the junior year (Year 11 equivalent I think!) so they have plenty of time to practice/retake for the test they choose!

Fell free to shoot me any questions, I am currently a high school senior who has been through the process
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MSZYM
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Sorry to say this, but the scores you achieved are completely wrong. The main point of these test are that you sit in one place for 4 hours and do the test in the time allocated. If you do a section that tells you to take half an hour and you take an hour, the test become so easy. You have to do them in the time allocated. The only reason you found the ACT easier is because you didn't do it properly, try doing the entire test in the time allocated.
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Emypeach
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(Original post by MSZYM)
Sorry to say this, but the scores you achieved are completely wrong. The main point of these test are that you sit in one place for 4 hours and do the test in the time allocated. If you do a section that tells you to take half an hour and you take an hour, the test become so easy. You have to do them in the time allocated. The only reason you found the ACT easier is because you didn't do it properly, try doing the entire test in the time allocated.
Hello,

Sorry if I confused you. What I meant was that I didn't use all the time allocated; I didn't spend 45 minutes or whatever on the section. As soon as I'd done it (and that was always with at least ten minutes to spare) I got on with something else rather than checking it.
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MSZYM
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(Original post by Emypeach)
Hello,

Sorry if I confused you. What I meant was that I didn't use all the time allocated; I didn't spend 45 minutes or whatever on the section. As soon as I'd done it (and that was always with at least ten minutes to spare) I got on with something else rather than checking it.
I find that really hard to believe, but if so, then you must be some kind of a genius and if i were as smart as you i would do both of them get 34 in ACT and 2300 in SAT and apply to Harvard.
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Emypeach
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(Original post by MSZYM)
I find that really hard to believe, but if so, then you must be some kind of a genius and if i were as smart as you i would do both of them get 34 in ACT and 2300 in SAT and apply to Harvard.
I am applying to Harvard...
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Emypeach
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(Original post by ckotool)
take both! Most people do well in one or the other. I personally did not do very well on the SAT's but very well on the ACT!

Most American students take both early on in the junior year (Year 11 equivalent I think!) so they have plenty of time to practice/retake for the test they choose!

Fell free to shoot me any questions, I am currently a high school senior who has been through the process
Hey,

Thanks for your advice! I may take you up on that offer as I'm sure I'm going to have more questions. Junior year is equivalent to year 12.

Thanks!
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