The Princeton Review shares 5 reasons you should take BOTH the ACT and the SAT

Don't know if you should take the SAT or ACT?  The Princeton Review Shares Five Reasons to Take BOTH.

Want to increase your college admissions options but cut down on stress? Learn why taking both the SAT and ACT exams is a smart choice.

1.) You'll Give More Information to the Admissions Committee

Princeton University's dean of admissions is on record as saying:

“...more information is always better. If students choose one or the other, that’s fine, because both tests have value. But if they submit both, that generally gives us a little more information.”
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And some of the most selective schools are reporting that as much as a quarter (or more!) of their enrolled students submitted scores for both exams.

School% frosh enrolled in fall 2014 that submitted ACT AND SAT scores
Stanford University 31%
Harvard College 20%
Yale University 19%
Princeton University 20%
MIT 26%
University of Chicago 25%
Cal Tech 32%

That said, most colleges require EITHER the SAT or ACT, and many offer score choice, allowing you to report only your best scores on either exam.

2.) You Can Prep  More Efficiently

You’re applying to competitive schools and crafting a stellar college application—which means you’ll likely end up taking the SAT or ACT more than once to get the scores you want. If you start by taking both tests, you’ll be able make an informed decision about which one best displays your strengths, and work on raising those scores.

3.) You Can Cut Down on Stress!

Knowing you have more than one option will lower your stress level—helping you perform better on test day.

4.) You Might  Cut Down the Number of Tests You Need to Take

Some schools require applicants to submit scores from EITHER the ACT OR the SAT plus 2-3 SAT Subject tests. If you plan to take the SAT, taking the ACT too will cover you just in case something goes wrong on one of the SAT Subject tests.

5.) You'll Have More Options

Considering both tests gives you a lot more flexibility when it comes to choosing test dates.

What’s the downside? More time and more cost in prep. You’ll need to invest time to get into your reach schools, but we’ll make sure you prep efficiently, and we have excellent options to help you prep for both cost-effectively.


For more than 30 years, students and families have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools. We help students succeed in high school and beyond by giving them resources for better grades, better test scores, and stronger college applications. Follow along on Twitter: @ThePrincetonRev.