confused about the SAT/ACT?

While probably one of the most anxiety-provoking topics in college admissions, every single college in the United States accepts either test, and swears they do not favor one over the other.

Take a look at our step by step study process as well as how the tests stack up with one another:

Take practice versions of both the SAT and the ACT to figure out which one you are better at (off the record). We offer practice/diagnostic tests for FREE at our office. Click here to see the schedule and register.

(Timing: Do this after sophomore year ends, ideally in summer or fall / winter of junior year)

Evaluate the scores to see which test you are better at. We offer a complimentary 30 minute consultation to help with this process. Call us to schedule: (949)276-4077


Choose a test date.

Decide how you are going to prepare. One on one prep? Small group? Boot camp style? Choose what will work best for YOU.

Put your all into your test prep. Trust us, you WILL get results if you put in the effort! Plan to move test prep up on your priority list for the two to three months prior to your test date.




Reading: 52 questions in 65 min

Math: 20 questions in 25 min with no calculator & 38 questions in 55 min with a calculator

Writing & Language: 44 questions in 35 min

Optional Essay: 1 prompt, 50 min

Questions are structured to be relevant to what is studied at school and the real world. Many problems require multi-step problem solving and reasoning.

Math: scale of 200 – 800

Reading & Writing: scale of 200-800

Composite SAT score: the sum of the two section scores and range from 400-1600.

The questions appear in order of difficulty for Math and Writing. In reading, questions progress chronologically.

SAT Math Concepts:



Algebra 1



(formulas provided)

You can choose which SAT score date(s) to submit to colleges

Offered seven times per year:








A special lottery is to be held to select the student who will live in the only deluxe room in a dormitory. There are 100 seniors, 150 juniors, and 200 sophomores who applied. Each senior’s name is placed in the lottery 3 times; each junior’s name, 2 times; and each sophomore’s name, 1 time. What is the probability that a senior’s name will be chosen?

A. 1/8
B. 2/9
C. 2/7
D. 3/8
E. 1/2

Answer: D

English: 75 questions in 45 min

Math: 60 questions in 60 min (calculator allowed on all questions)

Reading: 40 questions in 35 min

Science: 40 questions in 35 min

Optional Writing: 1 prompt, 40 min

Questions are straightforward, but pacing of the test is quicker (more questions to answer in allotted time).

English: scale of 1 – 36

Math: scale of 1 – 36

Reading: scale of 1 – 36

Science: scale of 1 – 36

Composite ACT score: the average of your scores on the four sections; ranges between 1-36

Questions appear in random order.

ACT Math Concepts:


Algebra 1

Algebra 2




(no formulas provided)

You can choose which ACT score date(s) to submit to colleges

Offered six times per year:







Sales for a business were 3 million dollars more the second year than the first, and sales for the third year were double the sales for the second year. If sales for the third year were 38 million dollars, what were sales, in millions of dollars, for the first year?

A. 16
B. 17.5
C. 20.5
D. 22
E. 35

Answer: A

How is it structured?

What are the questions like?

How is it scored?

Do the questions get harder as you go along?

What Math concepts are on it?

Is there Score Choice?

When is it offered?

How do I register?

Sample Math Question:

You can take a look at your PSAT and PLAN scores (the precursor tests to the SAT and ACT, respectively) for an indication of where you might be stronger. However, the most thorough way to figure out whether you are better at the SAT or the ACT, is to take both tests. Then, you can compare the scores and have an accurate read of where you stand on each one. Click here to see the schedule for our diagnostic tests.

Otherwise, just pick a test and go with it. Preparation is the real key, regardless of which test you take.  Invest in your score. For many colleges, this one four hour test means almost as much as your GPA, which has taken years of hard work to achieve.