The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is a standardized test designed to show how prepared you are to enter college and measures key skills such as reading comprehension, numeracy and clarity of expression. It consists of two main sections: mathematics and verbal skills. The mathematics section includes one section with the use of a calculator and another without a calculator. The maximum score is 800 points. The verbal section covers reading and writing, and the maximum score is also 800. The total maximum score for the SAT is therefore 1600. The test lasts for approximately 3 hours. There is an optional 50-minute essay, which brings the total test time to 3 hours and 50 minutes (not taking into account the intervals between sections).
The ACT (American College Testing) is also a standardized test and is an alternative to the SAT. It covers four academic skills: English, Mathematics, Reading and Scientific Reasoning, in addition to offering an optional Writing test. The four main sections of the ACT are scored individually on a scale of 1 to 36 and the final grade is the average of the four sections. The ACT is 3 and a half hours long. The optional essay test lasts 40 minutes, which increases the total test time to 4 hours and 10 minutes (not taking into account the intervals between sections).