Increasing Awareness of the ACT

Sydney Dybing, Opinion Editor

“Take the PSAT! Sign up for the SAT Prep class!” It seems as if the biggest test you will take in high school, the one that could decide your future, is the SAT. But what many students don’t know is that the SAT isn’t the only test you can take for college admissions.

Accepted just like the SAT at every college in the United States, the ACT is another important testing option that, with all of the SAT focus at Liberty and on the west coast in general, is less well known.

While being significant for all of the same reasons as the SAT, the ACT is a completely different test. For many reasons, it works better for some students (including myself), and you may be able to get a much higher score on the ACT than you would on the SAT – if it’s the right test for you.

While I encourage everyone to take a practice of both tests to determine what the best fit for you is, here are some things to think about when considering the ACT. If these sound like you, you should give the test a try.


It might be a good idea to try the ACT if you:

Work well with more straightforward questions than the SAT presents

Can read and work through questions quickly

Would rather show your knowledge learned from school (achievement) than reasoning and verbal abilities (aptitude)

Know your punctuation well (learn the comma rules)

Don’t have an extensive vocabulary as required for the SAT

Don’t want to get penalized for missing questions (Explanation: you lose ¼ points per question wrong on the SAT, whereas on the ACT you simply get 0 points from the wrong question)

Can read and reason through scientific data and graphs to answer questions

Have taken math classes that include trigonometry – the ACT tests more advanced math concepts, but the questions are all straightforward

Would rather not write an essay or your composite test score not include a score for a written essay (NOTE: Many/most colleges still require you to take the Writing portion of the ACT for admission)