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What Is the Difference Between the ACT and the SAT?

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Lauren Randle

Written by Lauren Randleon January 10th, 2018

I learned firsthand about the world of highly selective admissions as a former assistant director of admissions at Georgetown University. I traveled the United States, in and out of high schools and auditoriums, to eagerly educate students and their families about the application process, and then painstakingly reviewed thousands upon thousands of applications to fill our class. I reviewed applications for all four of Georgetown’s colleges (Georgetown College, McDonough School of Business, Walsh School of Foreign Service, and School of Nursing & Health Studies), and chaired the admissions committee for the School of Foreign Service. I experienced the nuances of the recruitment process as the admissions liaison to the Georgetown women’s soccer team, and also understood the significance of the admissions interview as the co-coordinator for Georgetown’s alumni interviewing process. I left admissions to pursue a master of education degree at the University of Virginia to broaden my knowledge of student development theories and current trends in higher education. There I decided that it was time to work more directly with students and families at the high school level, where my support and encouragement would have a more personal impact. That desire led me across the globe to Hong Kong, where I worked at a competitive international high school helping students with their college applications to the world's best universities. My international experience offered me the opportunity to work with extraordinary students and see extraordinary places.
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The college application process is fraught with stressful decisions to make: what colleges to apply to, whether to apply early, what essay topic to choose, and, of course, which standardized test to take. While any college that requires standardized testing will accept either SAT or ACT scores, the two tests have a number of differences that students and parents should consider when deciding which test to pursue. College Coach’s Lauren Randle, former Georgetown University admissions officer, breaks down the major differences between the SAT and the ACT in this installment of Ask the College Admissions Expert so that you can make an informed decision about which test is right for you. And don’t forget to subscribe to the College Coach YouTube Channel to keep up-to-date on all the latest college planning tips from our college admissions and finance experts. Get Expert College Admissions Help


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