Test Prep

4 ACT Myths and Misconceptions

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Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? Your cousin who took the SAT claims it’s way easier to study for than the ACT. Your mom worries that you’ll only increase your ACT score by a point or two, so why bother?

When it comes to the ACT, can you separate fact from fiction?


We debunk some of the most common misconceptions surrounding the ACT test. Get the information you need to make the right college admissions decisions for you.

Myth #1: Colleges prefer the SAT over the ACT (or vice-versa).

TRUTH: Both the ACT and the SAT are universally accepted by most colleges, and admissions officers don’t prefer one test over the other. Still, it may be a smart decision to take both.

Myth #2: You can’t make big improvements on your ACT score.

TRUTH: The ACT, just like the SAT, is a coachable test, and with prep you can increase your score. At The Princeton Review, our Better Scores Guarantee is that your hard work plus our expert instructors and curriculum WILL increase your scores. Remember, the ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36 — even a one point improvement is huge!

Myth #3: If you hate Science, stay clear of the ACT!

TRUTH: The ACT Science section tests your ability to read and analyze passages, along with charts, tables and graphs — not your in-depth knowledge of the nervous system. The content draws from biology, chemistry, physics and the Earth/space sciences (astronomy, geology and meteorology). But it’s your reasoning and reading comprehension skills that will help you ace the Science section.

FYI: Charts and graphs also pop up on the SAT, across all sections of the test.

Myth #4: The ACT is easier than the SAT.

TRUTH: Ease is subjective. Some people think cooking is fun and easy; some people burn their toast every time. What we do know is that most people do better on one test or the other, so it’s a good idea to take a practice test for both the ACT and SAT, or even to take both tests officially.