Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Gifted Education > Signs of Giftedness > Should My Son Take the SAT or the ACT?
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Should My Son Take the SAT or the ACT?

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Rita Culross, Ph.D.

Q: My seventh-grade son has been nominated to the Duke University Talent Search. He can take either the SAT or the ACT. How do I know which test is appropriate for my child? I know the SAT tests verbal and math skills, while the ACT includes science and social studies as well. Is there something else I should know before we make the choice?

A: The SAT and the ACT are the two standardized tests used by colleges in admissions decisions. They can also be used to identify highly gifted students as early as fifth or sixth grade.

The SAT I: Reasoning Test measures verbal reasoning, math problem-solving, and critical reading. It is not designed to measure motivation, creativity, or specialized talents.

The American College Test or ACT measures general educational achievement in the areas of English, math, reading, and science, and assesses the ability of students to complete college-level work. The ACT is also unlikely to identify students who are gifted in specific areas, such as creative thinking, leadership, or the visual arts.

Both the ACT and SAT also have supplementary tests that are designed to assess advanced achievement in specific subject areas. Some colleges prefer one test or the other in their admissions processes, but both tests are good for selecting students for accelerated content-based programs, such as Talent Search. Schools also can compare scores on the two tests. The American College Testing Program, which produces the ACT, and the College Board, which is associated with the SAT, provide excellent websites with additional information about their testing programs. Both have specific links for parents and students. The ACT website is act.org. The College Board website is collegeboard.com.

More on: Expert Advice

Rita Culross is Associate Dean, College of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction at Louisiana State University. Culross has served as the consulting school psychologist for a public school elementary gifted program, and has written a book and several journal articles on gifted education.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

10 Best E-Reading Apps for Kids
Whether your child likes reading fiction, non-fiction, magazines, or storybooks, these top-rated e-reading apps will help build her own personal library and encourage her love of reading.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks