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High School Students Misinformed About Colleges' Use of ACT and SAT Scores

Some students are opting for the SAT over the ACT because they mistakenly believe that the College Board's exam is favored by colleges.

An e-survey conducted in October 2014 of 209 students from across the United States who took a Kaplan SAT course found that one-third believed the SAT was more widely accepted by colleges than ACT, Inc.'s college-entrance exam.

Yet all four-year U.S. colleges equally accept results of an ACT or SAT exam for consideration in the admissions process.

Another 24 percent of SAT test-prep participants surveyed said they were taking the exam because their friends were taking it.

"These results are not particularly surprising," Paul Weeks, the vice president of client relations for ACT, Inc. in Iowa City, Iowa, said in an email response. "Test-taking patterns and behaviors are regional and can be impacted by different influencers ranging from peers to parents. There are still many myths and misrepresentations out there, but we're glad to see them diminishing."

ACT is now the country's most popular college-entrance exam, surpassing the SAT in recent years. Much of the growth in the ACT has been the result of statewide contracts where the exam is taken during the school day at no cost to the student in 20 states. (See "State Initiatives Wide Reach of ACT and SAT.")

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