The ACT and The SAT
The ACT was first administered in 1959. It was used more in the Midwest; whereas, the SAT was mostly used in the Northeast. Today, the ACT is accepted at all colleges. It is a curriculum-based test to measure what was learned in a high school program. The test is 215 multiple choice questions that cover English, math, reading, and science. The optional writing test can add points to your overall score. Scores range from 1 to 36 and there is no wrong answer penalty.
The ACT contains a science section which the SAT does not. The science section does require critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. The ACT has a grammar section, which the SAT does not. The ACT also tests trigonometry concepts, which the SAT does not. The SAT has more focus on vocabulary than the ACT.
Both tests take about the same amount of time. Choosing which test to take depends on your test taking skills. If you are better taking multiple choice tests, enjoy science problem solving questions, know trigonometry, and are good in grammar, you may want to take the ACT. If you are better at critical thinking skills, have a good vocabulary, enjoy a variety of answer types, enjoy writing, and would prefer to stay away from science questions, you may prefer the SAT.
Both tests cost approximately the same and both tests accommodate for special needs students.