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ACT or SAT: Which one is right for you?

ACT or SAT, confused which one to take? Well, Ruchi Tomar, Academic Head and Uber Trainer, also an ACT & SAT  Expert, shares her advice on how students can go about choosing the right test, to get into top grad schools or colleges. Here is an excerpt of the exclusive interview! ACT vs SAT: Which one should you take? Manya Education Private Limited (MEPL): MEPL is a one-stop solution provider in overseas education. Established in 2002, it is named after one of the 1008 avatars of Goddess Saraswati, Manya which signifies the free flow of wisdom and consciousness while discriminating between wrong and right. Within a decade, MEPL has established itself as the national leader in 3 broad education domains - Study Abroad test preparation, Overseas Admissions and Language and Communication Training. Study Abroad Test Preparation MEPL is the Indian partner and the most successful International Division of "The Princeton Review (TPR)", a prestigious must-go grad school test prep and college admission services company offering online & in-person tutoring and test prep services for the past 30 years. Last year alone, it had helped more than 3.5 million students get into a great college or grad school. MEPL, The India Princeton Review, has the unique distinction of having trained more students for The Princeton Review's GRE course in India in 2011 than in the entire USA. The constant excellence and innovation at Princeton Review in India is why MEPL was named World Franchise of the Year by the United States based franchisor for 2011. Overseas Admissions MEPL is also the exclusive partner of QS Quacquarelli Symonds in India for admissions solutions for students. Founded in 1990, QS Quacquarelli Symonds is a trusted partner for over 1,000 higher education institutions globally providing a range of products & services aimed at assisting universities & business schools achieve their internationalization objectives. Partnership with QS Quacquarelli Symonds, gives MEPL the global coverage and reach to enable its students to secure admissions to the best -- suited program across the globe from amongst a wide choice. Language and Communication Training MEPL is a test prep service provider for standardized tests such as IELTS, TOEFL and PTE. MEPL offers a wide range of courses in Spoken English, Business Communication, Presentation Skills, Report Writing, and more. The MEPL works extensively with educational institutions and organizations to build international standard communication skills within the entity. The Manya Group has offices spread across India including in major cities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Gurgaon, and Hyderabad. Ruchi Tomar, Academic Head and Uber Trainer Ruchi Tomar, Academic Head and Uber Trainer Ruchi Tomar, Academic Head and Uber Trainer: Ruchi Tomar is an Economics graduate and possesses capacious teaching and training experience of over 15 years. As the better half of an Army officer, she has travelled extensively and been associated with multiple educational institutions and companies across the breadth of India including Carmel Convent, NIIT, Scared Heart, Gitanjali School, and others. Keen to expand her horizons in the education sector, Ruchi joined MEPL in 2005 as a Verbal Teacher and was successfully certified as a Master Trainer in 2008. Ever since then, she has been working towards devising key initiatives in teacher training and course development to suit the unique needs of Indian students. In January 2013, she joined the rarefied echelons of the Princeton Review Uber Trainers in the US with her appointment as the first Uber Trainer outside the US. She has also worked on content development projects for The Princeton Review and is one of the major contributors to the current GMAT courseware. Ruchi delivers dual roles in Academics and the Learning and Development functions, ensuring that MEPL maintains a consistent standard in the teams across its offices pan India. Her mantra has been to keep the academic bar raised sky high so that MEPL continues to churn out the much sought after ‘top scores’ that is one of the key ingredients that students need to accomplish their Study Abroad dreams. 1. What is the major difference between ACT and SAT test? Well, both tests do test almost identical material -- for example both have essays, as well as reading and grammar sections, they also have key differences. The SAT puts far more emphasis on Vocabulary than the ACT does; the ACT tests more advanced and complex Math; and finally the ACT’s Science based reading section. These are critical differences for Indian students as this could be key reasons for them to prepare for either test. 2. How students can decide whether to go for ACT or SAT test? This is not as easy as it sounds! Without going into too much detail, it will suffice to say that both the SAT and the ACT are highly standardized tests -- with substantial differences. It’s the students’ strengths and challenges in specific areas that will determine which test is he likely to score more in! 3. How does ACT test pattern differ from SAT? Test sections, number of questions, number of answer choices per question, the order in which sections are presented on the test are major pattern differences between these two tests. The essay is mandatory on the SAT, while it is optional on the ACT (what students need to remember here is that they will need to take the essay on the ACT if the colleges they are applying to require the essay score). There is no negative marking on the ACT, while the penalty for an incorrect answer on the SAT is -0.25 points. All MCQs on the SAT have 5 answer choices each, while the ACT has 5 answer choices only for the Math Section. Having said this -- time management is a bigger challenge on the ACT as the test duration is 3 hours (+ 30 minutes for the essay). The ACT has a scoring scale of up to 36 points with sub scores reported for each section. Colleges tend to view the composite score rather than Subscores. On the other hand, the SAT awards scores of up to 800 points for each of the three sections and colleges view scores for each section with particular emphasis on Reading and Math. 4. Score comparison: ACT vs SAT, which one is easier to score? As mentioned in my previous response -- the students’ strengths determine which test they should take. In order to assess which test a student is likely to do better on Manya Abroad - The Princeton Review offers a FREE ASSESSMENT (known as The Princeton Review Assessment or PRA) to all students. It's an eight-part practice exam that includes over three hours of questions divided between the SAT and ACT. Scoring charts show you how you can expect to do on the ACT or SAT, and those results can guide you in selecting the exam for which you are most likely to get a top score!  5. What is the best way to prepare for SAT and ACT? Keeping in mind that both are highly standardized American tests -- it’s very important for students to work with relevant material that comes from a reputed source rather than work only on concepts. What matters in the end is the score that a student gets and specific strategies and techniques are required -- so a blend of content and test prep strategies are required along with full length tests and test analysis by an ACT/SAT test prep expert! 6. Any specific book or books students should study before appearing for the ACT or SAT test? I will definitely recommend the Official guides from ACT and College Board for these tests. In addition to these books a student needs access to reliable, full length tests and section wise practice. Vocabulary for the SAT is not about learning up words in a dictionary - rather a word list of frequently tested words on the SAT is required. Looking for ACT or SAT coaching? Post your learning requirements here.


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Aradhana 02/11/2018

Hello Ruchi! Is it possible to get in touch with you? Aradhana Handa

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