As the owner of a test preparation and tutoring company I am often asked this question by parents. Of course parents want to make sure their child has every advantage when applying to college. And the current, highly competitive, college admissions landscape makes even some mild-mannered parents get a little panicky. So what to do?
At A+, we generally do not recommend preparing for both exams. The reason we counsel against preparing for both exams is that while they are similar, there are enough differences between the exams that trying to prepare for both can be quite confusing and can divert energy and attention away from preparing.
Therefore we suggest that students take a practice ACT exam, which we offer to families free, either in your home or at one of our three proctored exam sites throughout the Delaware Valley. We will score the exam for you and give you a detailed ACT score report, detailing the student’s strengths and weaknesses on the exam.
Then we can compare the student’s ACT score with the score report provided with either the PSAT, from either sophomore or junior year, or SAT. By looking at the scores from the ACT side-by-side with those from either the PSAT or SAT, along with the detailed information gleaned from the score reports and information you provide about your child, we can determine which exam is a better fit.
At that point you can be confident that you have chosen the correct exam for your child, and he or she can put full effort towards preparing, without having to worry about the confusion of having to prepare for two different exams.