Four-year colleges and universities may require the SAT or ACT for admission. Many colleges are now test optional! SAT and ACT are accepted interchangeably at most colleges and universities… one test is not better than the other! It’s best to take both exams to see which results in a higher score.
Fees are required to take the SAT and ACT exams. However, fee waivers are available to students who qualify. Please make note of dates and deadlines for each exam as late fees apply when registering late.
Many colleges are now SAT/ACT Test Optional! View the list of colleges that are waiving the SAT/ACT testing. These colleges may or may not consider submitted scores when considering students for admission. Always check with the colleges you are interested in applying to regarding any testing requirements.
Compare the SAT and ACT Exams
|Why Take It||Colleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.||Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.|
|Reading||5 reading passages||4 reading passages|
|Science||None||1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)|
|Calculator Policy||Some math questions don’t allow you to use a calculator.||You can use a calculator on all math questions.|
|Essays||Optional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text.||Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.|
Preparing for the SAT/ACT
Khan Academy offers FREE Online SAT Prep — A personalized and interactive online test prep that offers full length practice tests with feedback
ACT Online Prep — An online resource to help students prepare to take the ACT test, featuring real questions from previous tests
LA Public Library offers FREE Online SAT/ACT Prep — Have LAPL Card Number with PIN available
4Tests.com — FREE online SAT and ACT practice exams
Additional SAT/ACT Prep Options: