The SAT is an Intelligence Test Not true. And neither is the ACT. Ask the makers of either exam and they'll tell you the same. Many highly intelligent students struggle with these exams for a variety of reasons. The style of these tests (strictly timed, multiple choice), students' educational experiences, and socio-economic background, are among the most well established of such factors.
The SAT is the Most Important Factor in the Admissions Process While scores on college entrance exams are among the most significant factors in college admissions, several factors are more significant for the vast majority of colleges and universities in the United States. Grades in college prep courses, and a student's overall strength of curriculum, are more important. Some selective colleges and universities have admissions policies that allow you to apply without submitting ACT or SAT scores; these are known as "test-optional" colleges and universities.
The SAT is More Important than the ACT Any four year college or university that requires the SAT will accept the ACT in its place. Period. The ACT is just as valid as the SAT. It is more commonly taken in the middle states, which explains why students in New York may be less familiar with the ACT, but don't let this prevent you from trying the ACT. In fact, more students took the ACT last year than the SAT. Some students perform better on the ACT, some the SAT, and some perform similarly. You won't know which is your better exam unless you try both!
The ACT is Easier than the SAT Some students prefer the ACT, some prefer the SAT...and some hate both, of course. There are subtle differences between the two exams that may lead a student to perform better on one or the other, and many perform similarly. Which exam a student will perform best on will vary as per the individual in question.
Test Prep Will Make a Big Difference It is clear that test prep can work, at least on the SAT. Long term, intensive test prep tends to be best. How big a gain a student can expect, however, depends upon a variety of factors. There is little research that empirically demonstrates just how much of an effect test prep will have on any given student, in spite of what the test prep companies maintain. So should students take an SAT prep course? If they are doing well in school and have the time, yes...but they should commit to something rigorous and long term . Students who are struggling in their classes are much better served spending that time improving their academic skills and study habits.
Few aspects of the college admissions process are as surrounded by myth and fascination as the SATs. Let's take a minute to dispel some of the more prevalent myths.