ACT Prep

Describes the key differences between the SAT and the ACT. Some students may do well on one rather than the other.

The ACT is a test designed to measure college readiness. If you are deciding whether to take the SAT or the ACT, you should consider the differences between the two tests -- some obvious and some subtle. The key differences between the SAT and the ACT are outlined below. Many students who don't do well on the SAT can score higher on the ACT. With proper training (such as Optimal SAT Prep or Optimal ACT Prep), any student can do well on either or both tests. Each year I have six to ten students who score 34-36 on each section of SAT. Last year, for he first time, one of my 8th grade students scored 36, 36, 36, 36. Last summer, a freshman scored a perfect 1600 on SAT.


Scores range from 200 to 800 for total of 1600 on 2 sections combined.

There is no penalty for wrong answers.

Contains no Science Reasoning section.

Many students find word problems difficult until we show them how to solve them with ease.

The new SAT (2016 version) has become similar to the ACT in many ways.

Still each year many students find the ACT easier primarily because ACT questions remain more straight forward an less tedious.




Scores in each section range from 1 to 36.

There is no penalty for wrong answers.

As a general rule, ACT math questions are more straight-forward, in that, they are more like textbook questions.

The math section contains elementary trigonometry and complex numbers and more difficult permutations/ combinations than the SAT. 

Many students find the Science Reasoning section difficult even though it is essentially analytical/critical reading coupled with logical reasoning and interpretation of graphs. 



ACT Prep

You can learn about our approach to ACT Prep (Optimal ACT Prep) here