ACTing on the SAT


College applications are creeping up on Etowah students of all grades, giving teenagers an extra scare this fall season. To check off all of the boxes on their resume, SAT and ACT tests are underway for many juniors and seniors.  

The SAT and ACT are standardized tests that evaluate students on a variety of material, and colleges use the scores during the acceptance process and scholarship offers. There are not many major differences between the two tests; however, the SAT is longer and tends to be more math-based. The ACT also contains a science section that the SAT is missing. Colleges typically do not prefer one over the other, so students can determine which is their best option based on the subjects they personally exceled on. Some colleges are test-optional, meaning they do not require test scores in their admissions.  

“I prefer the SAT because there are less questions, and I do not feel rushed,” Brooke Belsito, senior, said.  

Prepping for the exam can be daunting and overwhelming, especially on top of schoolwork. There are a variety of ways to study, and finding a tutor is a common route students take; however, hiring a tutor can be expensive, so test takers often explore free options that are just as helpful. Many online websites offer free SAT and ACT practice, such as Khan Academy. Etowah is particularly resourceful, as the student tutoring center, The East Wing, has free SAT and ACT review available during scheduled sessions.  

“They [tutoring programs] do not just teach you all of the material, but they also teach you other life skills such as time management. One way I personally prepare is by taking practice tests and going over the ones I do wrong,” Kinsley Terrette, senior, said. 

It is popular for first time test takers to go into the exams blind, without studying, and decide which to take again once they receive the scores. One can find lists of test dates and sign-up opportunities on the College Board or ACT websites. The next SAT is on Oct. 1 at Etowah and another is being offered during the day on Oct. 12. 

“I am going to take both of the tests without studying, and I plan to study and retake the test I feel better about and score well on,” Makhenna Knight, junior, said. 

Whether a student is taking one of these exams this week or in a few months, do not miss the opportunity to succeed with the resources available in the community. Avoid stress, do not cram studying, and the Talon wishes Etowah students good luck.