This is a guest blog post written by our friends at ArborBridge. Located in Los Angeles, ArborBridge prepares students anywhere in the world for SAT/ACT success with a world-class tutoring experience that combines a scientifically-designed curriculum, elite tutors, and cutting-edge technology. We encourage you to learn more about ArborBridge and check out the original post!

You may have heard some rumors about college admission tests here and there. As is the nature of rumors, it’s hard to tell what is true and what is not. Don’t always believe what you hear! The test prep experts at ArborBridge are here to investigate some of the most common myths about the SAT and ACT.



No! Now, more than ever, the two tests are very similar. In particular, the Math sections on the SAT and ACT are almost identical content-wise—both exams cover math topics up to trigonometry and pre-calculus. Furthermore, the ACT English section and SAT Writing section essentially mimic one another, as both feature grammar-based questions in the context of a passage. And students are all rejoicing now that the SAT doesn’t have those ominous sentence-completion questions anymore. Plus, the Essay section is now optional on both tests.

Still, it’s good to know what’s different on each test. Download our free SAT vs. ACT comparison guide here and learn about the key differences between them.



No! We recommend students take a diagnostic of each exam to see which one better fits your strengths as a student. Then, focus your energy on one exam and conquer it.

Which test should you take? Check out our quick quiz here and find out!



Yes! This is not a myth. Unless the PSAT or a diagnostic SAT fares significantly better for you, the ACT is a safer bet.

Why? A few reasons:

  1. Even though the redesigned SAT made its debut months ago, we’re still making sense of what the new numbers mean in comparison to the old test and ACT scores (which have not changed at all).
  2. Very few official exams have been released, meaning there is less practice material for students.
  3. There appears to be a significant PSAT score inflation, indicating that the data collected by the College Board may be off and even more changes will possibly come down the road. Students may also get a false sense of how good they are at the new SAT (i.e. feeling like they have a better shot at certain colleges or universities than they actually do).
  4. It hasn’t exactly been easy sailing for the College Board since the new SAT was released. They have been compromised by a flurry of cheating and security scandals. Plus, the gap between the ACT and College Board has widened since the ACT announced they would not accept the SAT Score Converter App created by the College Board. The list goes on.
  5. The ACT underwent very minimal changes in the past year, making prep more reliable and effective.



No! The ACT is accepted by all universities in the United States and is valued equally by admissions committees.



No! While practice tests will help students familiarize themselves with the exam itself, success—especially for high-scoring students—is dependent on mastery of both content and strategy. The key is to identify your weaknesses with a diagnostic exam, then use targeted practice to improve in these areas. Practice is important but is most effective if you are practicing correctly!



No! Multiple studies have shown that a student’s GPA remains the most valid element in college applications. Only when combined with other factors does the SAT or ACT become a better predictor of student success.



No! A slight subset of students take fall or spring tests, but not enough to shift scoring. As long as you take the test at a time that is best for your individual schedule and needs, you should be good to go.



No! There is no concrete proof that getting approved for accommodations is harder for the ACT than it is for the SAT. However, to be safe, it’s good practice to request accommodations from both tests and weigh which option is best for the student.

Myths about the SAT and ACT