Which Test Is Better

Need help with selecting a test?

The SAT and the ACT may appear to be similar on the surface, but each test requires a different set of test taking strategies and techniques. To learn whether the SAT or the ACT caters to your strengths or to find out which test you would prefer, answer the following set of questions.

The following is a simple test of 41 question that will help determine which test best fits you.
01. Directional Analysis
1. Are you good at justifying your answer when challenged by someone?
2. Do you excel at higher level math?
3. Are you more logical than intuitive? (especially when you encounter a problem)
4. Do you use strategies and knowledge to solve problems?
5. Are you comfortable learning difficult vocab words?
6. Do you dread doing math without a calculator?
7. Do you excel in science?
8. Are you relatively a fast problem solver in class?
9. Do you know how to set up a scientific experiment?
10. Do you often use expressions like 'in a nutshell' or 'simply put' or 'at the end of the day'?
02. Tendency Analysis
1. Is Tetris a strategy game or a speed game?
2. Are you a trickster or truth-teller?
3. Do you usually think of every possible scenario when finding an answer?
4. Do you panic under time pressure?
5. Do you consider yourself careful or decisive?
03. Thinking Pattern (Reading)

This passage is adapted from Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome, originally
published in 1911. Mattie Silver is Ethan’s household employee.

      Mattie Silver had lived under Ethan’s roof for a year, and from
early morning till they met at supper he had frequent chances of
seeing her; but no moments in her company were comparable to
those when, her arm in his, and her light step flying to keep time
5 with his long stride, they walked back through the night to the farm.
He had taken to the girl from the first day, when he had driven over
to the Flats to meet her, and she had smiled and waved to him from
the train, crying out, “You must be Ethan!” as she jumped down with
her bundles, housework while he reflected, looking over her slight
10 person: “She don’t look much on housework, but she ain’t a fretter,
anyhow.” But it was not only that the coming to his house of a bit of
hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold
hearth. The girl was more than the bright serviceable creature he
had thought her. She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he
15 could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of
feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he
could wake at will.
      It was during their night walks back to the farm that he felt most
intensely the sweetness of this communion. He had always been
20 more sensitive than the people about him to the appeal of natural
beauty. His unfinished studies had given form to this sensibility and
even in his unhappiest moments field and sky spoke to him with a
deep and powerful persuasion. But hitherto the emotion had
remained in him as a silent ache, veiling with sadness the beauty
25 that evoked it. He did not even know whether any one else in the
world felt as he did, or whether he was the sole victim of this
mournful privilege. Then he learned that one other spirit had
trembled with the same touch of wonder: that at his side, living
under his roof and eating his bread, was a creature to whom he
30 could say: "That’s Orion down yonder; the big fellow to the
right is Aldebaran, and the bunch of little ones—like bees
swarming—they’re the Pleiades..." or whom he could hold
entranced before a ledge of granite thrusting up through the fern
while he unrolled the huge panorama of the ice age, and the long
35 dim stretches of succeeding time. The fact that admiration for his
learning mingled with Mattie’s wonder at what he taught was not
the least part of his pleasure. And there were other sensations, less
definable but more exquisite, which drew them together with a
shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter hills, the
40 flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely
blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow. When she said to him
once: “It looks just as if it was painted!” it seemed to Ethan that the
art of definition could go no farther, and that words had at last been
found to utter his secret soul....
45      As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories
came back with the poignancy of vanished things. Watching Mattie
whirl down the floor from hand to hand he wondered how he could
ever have thought that his dull talk interested her. To him, who was
never gay but in her presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of
50 indifference. The face she lifted to her dancers was the samewhich,
when she saw him, always looked like a window that has
caught the sunset. He even noticed two or three gestures which, in
his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him: a way of throwing her
head back when she was amused, as if to taste her laugh before
55 she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when anything
charmed or moved her.
1. Over the course of the passage, the main focus of the narrative shifts from the

2. In the context of the passage, the author’s use of the
phrase "her light step flying to keep time with his long stride" (line 4-5) is primarily meant to convey the idea that

3. The author includes the descriptions of the sunset, the
clouds, and the hemlock shadows (lines 39–41) primarily to

4. The description in the first paragraph indicates that
what Ethan values most about Mattie is her

5. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer
to the previous question?

PROSE FICTION: This passage IS adapted from the short story "Tattoo" by Rai a Mai (©2006 by University of Hawai'i Press)

      The first time I heard about tattoo, I was still a
little girl. My grandmother was telling me that the last
woman in Polynesia to have the face entirely tattooed
in those days was living in Hiva'Oa
5       "She would often come down to the village by the
shore. Maybe because she loved the-ocean ... Her
body, I could not tell because she was always wrapped
in tapa cloth. I used to play with the other village chil-
10 dren at the shore. And she would come and just sit
there, under the sun, for hours. She would stare silently
at the sea. Not moving. Not talking. Not smiling. Not
looking at anyone. Her eyes on the sea, as if captivated
by these ever-rolling waves. Her body leaning with
15 intensity toward the ocean, as if her whole being was
listening to something we could not hear.
      "I like people who can sit under the sun without
moving and without talking, their eyes filled with
dreams from another world ...
20 "I was probably about your age when my parents
decided to migrate to the Marquesas Islands. You know,
child, the people over there have skin different from
ours. Mine is black. This is Pa'umotu skin! Yours is
white because you have in you the mixed blood of your
26 ancestors. But theirs is a beautiful reddish color, like
ahi mono'i, made from sandalwood and powder. The
way they speak is also different. When they speak, you
hear a song. They sound like the white birds that fly
over the cliffs along the shoreline just before·the rain.
30 "Yes ... I do like people who can sit under the sun
without moving and without talking, their eyes filled
with dreams from another world ...
"So when we played tiipa, I would hide behind a
rock not too far away from the tattoo lady and I would
35 imitate her. I would sit against the rock and feel the
pleasure of the sunrays trapped in the rock warming my
back. I: d close my eyes, breathe deeply, and feel the
sunrays on my eyelids. Then I would open my eyes
again and just stare at the sea ... I tried to hear what
45 she was hearing ...
      "But you see, child, I didn't have any tattoo
around my eyes, and I couldn't see what she saw. I
didn't have any tattoo around my lips and on my chin,
45 have any tattoo on my forehead, and I couldn't concen-
trate on the ocean's language.
      "Sometimes the tattoo lady would lift her hands up
toward the sky. And from her hands would dance a few
words among the clouds from Heaven. See, child, her
50 hands were beautifully tattooed on the side of the palm
and along the small fingers. At times, she would catch a
word and bring it back to her chest, as if to bury it in
her heart.
      "I would see, then, tears run along the tattoo on
55 her face ...
      "So I went to see my father and told him that I
wanted a tattoo somewhere on my body. I said that
I wanted to be able to hear what others couldn't hear. I
said that I wanted to catch the words from among the
60 clouds from Heaven.
      "My father looked at me, opened his mouth. But
no word came out of it. Then he closed his mouth again
and just looked at me. He drew me against him and sat
me on his lap. With his arms wrapped around me, he
65 chanted. He sang like the white birds that fly over the
cliffs along the shoreline just before the rain.
      "Then he said, 'We used to tell our story on our
body. And people and heavens would know who we
were. They would recognize us. But nowadays, stories
70 and words are written in books. The words are caught
directly from our memories and written with ink on
paper. You don't need to catch the words in the clouds
from Heaven any longer. They are here!' And he
pointed a finger to my forehead.
75 "So you see, child," my grandmother went on,
"today no one has Polynesian tattoo on their body any-
more. Well ... some men bring back tattoo from the
army. But theirs tell not of war; they speak of love and
broken hearts. They draw a heart pierced by an arrow
... They draw the name of a woman they fell in love
with ... They are unfinished designs. In fact, nobody
knows how to tattoo the way our ancestors did. They have
      "Our word tatau has traveled all over the world
85 and is known by all the nations. It has become such a
part of everyone's language that people have forgotten
that originally this word was a Polynesian word: tatau!
Tatau has disappeared from our memories ...
"And you know what? I was never able to catch
90 any words: neither in books nor from among the clouds
from Heaven."
      As I listened to my grandmother, I looked at her
naked black hands and I felt the desire for words to
grow inside me.
6. In the passage, the narrator's grandmother states that one reason she spent time at the shore was to:

7. The passage's repetition in lines 65-66 of the simile used in lines 28-29 creates a direct connection between the Marquesas Islanders' speech and the:

8. In the passage, the narrator's grandmother suggests that having a tattoo would have allowed her to do all of the following EXCEPT:

9. As it is used twice in line 1, the word I directly refers to the:

10. In the passage, the narrator's grandmother speculates that the tattoo lady came down to the village by the shore because the tattoo lady:

04. Thinking Pattern (Math)
1. The gas mileage for Peter’s car is 21 miles per gallon when the car travels at an average speed of 50 miles per hour. The car’s gas tank has 17 gallons of gas at the beginning of a trip. If Peter’s car travels at an average speed of 50 miles per hour, which of the following functions models the number of gallons of gas remaining in the tank hours after the trip begins?

2. At a primate reserve, the mean age of all the male primates is 15 years, and the mean age of all female primates is 19 years. Which of the following must be true about the mean age

3. A typical image taken of the surface of Mars by a camera is 11.2 gigabits in size. A tracking station on Earth can receive data from the spacecraft at a data rate of 3 megabits per second for a maximum of 11 hours each day. If 1 gigabit equals 1,024 megabits, what is the maximum number of typical images that the tracking station could receive from the camera each day?

4. The function is defined by ,where is a constant. In the -plane, the graph of intersects the -axis at the three points (−4, 0), and , and (, 0). What is the value of ?

5. An architect drew the sketch below while designing a house roof. The dimensions shown are for the interior of the triangle. Solve for the cosine of
Write the answer as a fration:
6. A dog eats 7 cans of food in 3 days. At this rate, how many cans of food does the dog eat in 3 + days?

7. Given that sin A = and , what are all possible values of cos A?

8. Which of the following values is a zero of ?

9. The system of equations below has multiple solutions, all of which satisfy the equation . If it can be determined,
     what is the value of ?

10. An organization promoting good nutritional habits collected data on fat calories in foods from 9 fast- food restaurants. The values represent the number of fat calories in a small order of french fries at each of these fast-food restaurants: 160, 106, 104, 113, 160, 103, 161, 89, 96.
The organization collects data from 2 additional restaurants and includes the new data in the list. The number of fat calories in a small order of french fries at each of the 2 additional restaurants is designed by and , respectively. Which of the following expressions gives the average of this larger list of values?

05. Thinking Pattern (Science)

1. In Experiment 1, which of the bacterial species fermented lactose?

2. Suppose that in Experiment 2 both Species B and Species C had been added to a large test tube containing sucrose broth and to a large test tube containing lactose broth. Which of the following would most likely depict the results?

3. Suppose a scientist isolates a bacterial species that is 1 of the 4 species used in Experiment 1. She adds the species to sucrose broth and observes that neither acid nor CO2 is produced. She then adds the species to lactose broth and observes that both acid and CO2 are produced. Based on the results of Experiment 1, the species is most likely:

4. What is the evidence from Experiments 1 and 2 that Species C and Species D acted synergistically in Experiment 2 ?

5. Which of the following figures best illustrates the results of Experiment 1 for Species D in the sucrose broth?

6. Is the hypothesis that Species A and Species C acted synergistically supported by the results of Experiment 2 ?

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Directional Analysis
Tendency Analysis
Thinking Pattern