SAT®, PSAT®, and ACT® Prep

Comparison of SAT Versus ACT Test

What are the differences between the SAT & ACT Tests?

The SAT is based more on reasoning than content. The ACT is based more on content than reasoning.
Overall, the ACT requires students to do more work in a shorter period of time than the SAT does. The ACT also contains a science section, which will test students’ ability to interpret graphs, figures, and diagrams. There is no penalty for incorrect answers on either exams.

ACT Reading SAT Critical Reading
40 questions in 35 minutes 52 questions in 65 minutes
  • 3-4 single passages and 0-1 dual passages
  • Does not include graphs, figures, and diagrams
  • Favors students who are good at synthesizing a lot of information in a short time as there is more reading than the SAT
  • 4 single passages and 1 dual passages
  • Includes graphs, figures, and diagrams
  • Often more manageable than the ACT reading; students rarely struggle to finish the SAT reading
ACT English (grammar) SAT Writing (grammar)
75 questions in 45 minutes 44 questions in 35 minutes
  • Edit and answer questions for five different passages
  • No graphs or charts included
  • Edit and answer questions for four passages
  • Emphasizes student’s command of evidence, both verbal and graphical
ACT Math SAT Math
60 problems to solve in 60 minutes 38 problems to solve in 55 minutes
(Calculator Section)
20 problems to solve in 25 minutes
(No Calculator Section)
  • Can always use a calculator
  • Provides no reference formulas
  • Includes questions about equation of a circle and ellipse
  • Includes logarithms
  • Has a section where calculators are prohibited
  • Provides some geometric formulas for reference
  • Does not include formula of a circle or ellipse
  • Does not include logarithms
ACT Essay SAT Essay
1 essay topic in 40 minutes 1 essay topic in 50 minutes
  • The Essay section is optional and is not part of the composite score
  • Students critically engage with a topic and three provided perspectives/ways of thinking about the topic
  • Scored by two graders on a scale of 1-36
  • The Essay section is optional and is not part of the overall score
  • Students construct a rhetorical analysis of a provided source text
  • Scored by two graders on a scale of 6-24
ACT Science
40 questions in 35 minutes
  • Students must quickly analyze trends presented in graphs, tables, and figures
  • Asks questions about experimental design and results

Our Courses

We offer the students:

~Learn to approach the SAT, PSAT and ACT analytically and with confidence, using actual questions from past exams.

~Review useful approaches for eliminating and guessing, and practice effective test-taking strategies.

~Examine the question types, the essential vocabulary, and the format of each test section, as well as, practice the skills and techniques needed for each type of question.

~Review grammar, reading comprehension, and common essay mistakes.

~Learn when to answer a problem and when to skip a problem.

~Learn techniques that will enable them to solve math problems using proven math shortcuts and strategies.

~Practice the entire SAT test 3 times before taking the exam and receive scores for all practice tests taken.  The PSAT & ACT test will be practiced during the course.

**Please note: Students will have work to complete outside of the prep course**

We offer the parents

~All materials included.  The fee for the class includes all text and materials needed.

~Goals for scores.  We understand that you, your child, or your child’s future school might have a score in mind for admission.  We will work with your child and this number to help you reach that goal.

~References.  We have heard many positive comments about our course and would love for you to hear them too!

All courses are held at the Carlisle High School – 623 West Penn Street, Carlisle


Diagnostic Testing:

Should your child take the SAT or ACT? Which is the better test for them? Our diagnostic test will predict your child’s scores on both exams and help you troubleshoot if there is a particular test would be a better fit.


Full-length Practice Exams:

Whether you have used our test prep services or not, you might be curious how your child would do on the actual exam. Allow us to mimic testing conditions to give you an idea how your child will perform.


 SAT/ACT Test Preparation:

This comprehensive course helps you prepare for all sections of the SAT and ACT:


~Critical Reading


This course is not your typical SAT or ACT prep course!

It is an intensive course that will give you the skills to be successful on the SAT and ACT, but will also require work to achieve results.

PSAT Test Preparation:

Due to the recent changes to the SAT & PSAT, the strategies and content we teach now prepare students for all three exams: PSAT, SAT, & ACT. However, if your child is planning to take the ACT, we do suggest a 2 hour science add-on, as our class does not address the science portion of the ACT.


AP Test Preparation:

AP Calculus and AP English – Language test preparation services are available. Please call or email for more information.

AP Calculus®, SAT®, and PSAT/NMSQT® are trademarks registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this site.

ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this site.