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SAT vs. ACT Propensity Quiz

5 minute quiz that will tell you which test you should take. 

SAT or ACT Diagnostic Test

90 minute test that will provide your current score and a customized study plan.

Free Resources

What do Top US Universities Look For?

US Universities look for well rounded, academically excellent students. While your application will have many elements to it, the criteria listed here are the most important.

About the SAT/ACT

Sample list of Universities and Scores

You should apply to 10 universities. 

Reach - Pick 4: Most Selective

Target - Pick 4: Very Selective

Safety - Pick 2: Higher likelihood of acceptance but very well regarded.

(SAT: 1500+)

Johns Hopkins

Carnegie Mellon
Washington University in St. Louis


(SAT: 1400+)

Boston University
University of Michigan
Boston College






(SAT: 1350+)

University of Illinois

About the SAT & ACT

The SAT & ACT are standardized tests used by universities around the world to determine a student's college readiness level. The top two metrics US universities use to make admissions decisions are Grades (GPA) and SAT/ACT scores. For top universities, you will need to score high (1500+). This means you cannot afford to get more than a few questions wrong out of 150+!

Format: Multiple Choice

Duration: 3 Hours

Subjects Tested: Math, Reading, Writing (ACT also has a Science section)

Max SAT Score: 1600 (sum of all sections)

Max ACT Score 36 (average of all sections)

Total # of Questions: 154 (SAT) and 215 (ACT)

Curious about which test you would do better on?

Your performance on SAT vs ACT will vary based on the type of test taker you are. Take the quiz below to help decide which test might be best for you.

Diagnosti Test

Free SAT/ACT Diagnostic Test

Click below to start your free TestRocker 90 minute proprietary diagnostic test.


At the end of your test, you will see your current SAT/ACT score as well as a personalized study plan.

How Many Times to Take the SAT/ACT

Technically, you can take the ACT up to 12 times and the SAT as many times as you want. 


Should I take the SAT/ACT more than once?

The short answer is yes, Yes, YES! We recommend taking the tests 3 times. Whichever test you decide to take, you want the score to be the highest it can possibly be. Even if you're a great test taker, unless you get a perfect score, there is room for improvement. 

You should also retake the tests in order to get the highest possible superscore. 


What is Super Scoring?


Superscoring entails taking your highest score for each section of the test across all your test sittings and using the highest section scores to calculate your final score (SAT) or composite score (ACT).


Table: SAT superscoring example.

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SAT Optional

Is the SAT Optional?

Many universities changed their testing policies to "optional" during the pandemic, to accommodate for those without access to testing centers. However, while the fairness of standardized tests has always been debated, and many universities continue to say "optional" when it comes to the SAT, it is safe to say that the SAT/ACT is the only true measurable way for universities to judge college readiness and to compare applicants. Furthermore, with record high number of applicants at top universities, the competition is very high. Not submitting a SAT/ACT score puts more pressure on your grades. For international students, academic transcripts do not always translate well into the US system. For the reasons above, we strongly recommend that you take the SAT and aim to score high to stand out.

College Admissions Timeline

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