Do Colleges Prefer the ACT or the SAT?


The answer to whether or not colleges have a preference between the ACT and the SAT is surprisingly simple: No. Colleges do not prefer the ACT over the SAT or vice versa. There are certain states in which one test is more popular than the other, but that doesn’t mean colleges in that or in any other state have a preference. If your state offers the ACT, it’s probably just because your state got a better deal with the makers of the ACT than it did with the makers of the SAT, so you have complete freedom to pick either test.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should just flip a coin. Since you can take either the ACT or the SAT, it’s important that you consider each one, learn the differences between the two, and figure out which one best suits your skillset. They’re both pretty hard to take cold, but, fortunately, they’re also both very learnable.

If you’re wondering which test to take, the best approach is just to take a diagnostic test for each and see which one you felt more comfortable with and which one you scored higher on. There’s no need to sign up and take an official test as your cold one; you can find plenty of free tests online, so take one of those in the comfort of your own home and see how you do! Once you have experience with both tests, you should have a good idea about which test is better for you.

At Span Test Prep, we have lots of experience helping students choose between the two tests, so feel free to reach out for a free consultation and we can help you brainstorm.

Here are some links to free practice tests:

Free ACT Test

Free SAT Test