The ACT is based more on content than thinking. The SAT is based more on thinking than content. By and large, the ACT expects understudies to accomplish more work in a shorter time-frame than the SAT does. The ACT additionally contains a science area, which will test understudy’s capacity to translate charts, figures, and outlines. There is no negative marking for wrong answers on either exam.

S.N.ACT ReadingSAT Critical Reading
140 questions in 35 minutes52 questions in 65 minutes
23-4 single passages and 0-1 dual passages4 single passages and 1 dual passages
3Does not include graphs, figures, and diagramsIncludes graphs, figures, and diagrams
4Favors students who are good at synthesizing a lot of information in a short time as there is more reading than the SAT
Often more manageable than the ACT reading; students rarely struggle to finish the SAT reading
S.N.ACT English (grammar)SAT Writing (grammar)
175 questions in 45 minutes44 questions in 35 minutes
2Edit and answer questions for five different passagesEdit and answer questions for four passages
3No graphs or charts includedEmphasizes student's command of evidence, both verbal and graphical
S.N.ACT MathSAT Math
160 problems to solve in 60 minutes38 problems to solve in 55 minutes
(Calculator Section)
20 problems to solve in 25 minutes
(No Calculator Section)
2Can always use a calculatorHas a section where calculators are prohibited
3Provides no reference formulasProvides some geometric formulas for reference
4Includes questions about equation of a circle and ellipseDoes not include formula of a circle or ellipse
5Includes logarithmsDoes not include logarithms
S.N.ACT EssaySAT Essay
11 essay topic in 40 minutes1 essay topic in 50 minutes
2The Essay section is optional and is not part of the composite scoreThe Essay section is optional and is not part of the overall score
3Students critically engage with a topic and three provided perspectives/ways of thinking about the topicStudents construct a rhetorical analysis of a provided source text
4Scored by two graders on a scale of 1-36Scored by two graders on a scale of 6-24
S.N.ACT Science
140 questions in 35 minutes
2Students must quickly analyze trends presented in graphs, tables, and figures
3Asks questions about experimental design and results