Get your ACT or SAT together

There’s no getting around it. Taking the SAT or ACT is a rite of passage if you want to attend college. But like most challenges, a little preparation goes a long way. Check out the chart below to learn more about each test, then read our tips for reducing anxiety on test day.



215 questions and an optional essay. What am I in for? 154 questions and an optional essay.
Three hours and 35 minutes, including the optional essay. How much time am I given? Three hours and 50 minutes, including the optional essay.
Algebra, geometry and trig. Calculators are allowed. What about math? Algebra, geometry and trig. Advanced math requiring the manipulation of complex equations. Calculators are allowed for some of the test.
Optional; students have 40 minutes to complete it. What about essays? Optional; students have 50 minutes to complete it.
Tests your ability to interpret science experiments. What about science? No separate science section. Instead you’re measured on how you apply your reading, math, writing and language skills in science contexts.
One to 36 for each of the four required subject tests, averaged for a composite score. Writing scores are reported separately. How’s it scored? Composite 400 to 1600. Essay results reported separately.
Nope! Are there penalties? Nope!
At least four weeks before When do I register? The registration deadline is approximately one month before the test. There is also a late registration option.
$56.50 ($39.50 without essay) How much is registration? $54.50 ($43.00 without essay) Where do I get more info? Practice for free at

Got the test-taking blues?

We caught up with David Greenberg and Brandon Lipowitz of Miami’s Parliament Tutors for their tips on beating test-day anxiety.

For most students, anxiety stems from a lack of confidence. The best thing you can do to reduce anxiety on test day is know the material!

Pretend your mock exams are the real thing. Follow the same schedule you’ll have on test day. Practicing like this will help you be better prepared for the real thing.

Look for patterns in your test results to help hone your studying strategy. Is there one question type or subject area that always trips you up? If you’re missing more answers near the end of the test, you might be suffering from fatigue.

Sleep well, wake up early and eat right on test day. Give your brain the time it needs to warm up, and the nutrients it needs to stay sharp.

Get it right!

Before signing up, make sure you know which test your potential college requires for admission.