Common Misconceptions About the SAT and ACT

Have you ever had a friend tell you that your son or daughter should take the ACT because their child took it and scored SOOOO much better on it than the SAT?  Or that skipping questions on the tests are actually beneficial to the score?  These are two common misconceptions about the SAT and ACT that you must dispel!

Is the ACT really easier than the SAT?

Well, that is a difficult question to answer, because there is no real cut-and-dry answer.  The SAT and ACT are two different tests – so obviously, students will respond to each differently.  If all students were the same, then yes, we could answer this question.  Since they are not, the best response is that some students will find the SAT easier, and some will find the ACT easier.  The best thing a parent can do is have their child take both and determine from the scores and personal preferences of the student.

Can skipping questions improve your score?

This misconception is due to the fact that, prior to 2016, this was actually true.  There was a positive effect for answering questions correctly, a small penalty for answering questions incorrectly, and no score change for blank (unanswered) questions.  This meant that selective skipping could benefit a student.  Now, however, the College Board has changed the scoring system for the SAT, so that is no longer true.  Students gain points for correct answers, with incorrect and blank answers having no difference in how they are scored.  This means students should ANSWER EVERYTHING (or at least, fill in an answer to each question).