Taking the SAT is the best way to show colleges you have the skills and knowledge they want most. Find out how the new SAT, launching in March, compares to the ACT.*

FeaturesNew SATACT
Widely acceptedAll U.S. collegesAlmost all U.S. colleges
Major redesign2016 SAT is based on the latest research on the skills colleges value most.No recent significant revisions.
Tests the vocabulary you’ll useYesYes
Everyday math formulas providedYesNo
Essay is optionalYesYes
Penalty for guessingNoNo


ResourcesNew SATACT
Free daily practice questionsYes, the free mobile app, Daily Practice for the New SAT.Yes
Free comprehensive test practiceYes, through Khan Academy®, with over 4,000 questions and video lessons.No
Free, downloadable practice testsYesNo
A mobile app that instantly scores paper testsYes, Daily Practice for the New SAT.No


ScheduleNew SATACT
Test days7 times a year6 times a year
Regular registration deadlineAbout 4 weeks before test day. You pay a late fee for registering later.About 5 weeks before test day. You pay a late fee for registering later.
Late registration closesAbout 11 days before test day20+ days before test day


Benefits and RulesNew SATACT
Test fees waived for eligible studentsYesYes
Waivers cover late feesYesNo
Four college application fee waivers sent directly to eligible studentsYesNo


Structure and TimingNew SATACT
Testing time3 hours + 50-minute essay (optional)2 hours 55 minutes + 40-minute essay (optional)
Structure3 tests + optional essay4 tests + optional writing test
Number of questions154215
Time per question1 minute, 10 seconds49 seconds
Score range Composite 400–1600 (SAT Essay: reported in 3 dimensions, each 2–8)Composite 1–36 (writing domain scores: 2–12)
Test length and timingReading Test
65 minutes
52 questions

Writing and Language Test
35 minutes
44 questions

Math Test
80 minutes
58 questions
Reading Test
35 minutes
40 questions

English Test
45 minutes
75 questions

Math Test
60 minutes
60 questions

Science Test
35 minutes
40 questions


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