Which one should you take? In recent years, the ACT has become the more popular exam by a small margin, though it didn't always use to be that way. In 2012, 1,666,017 students took the ACT vs 1,664,479 SAT students.
There are advantages and disadvantages to taking both exams. For instance, the Writing section is optional on the ACT and required on the SAT. It is important to point out that average results show that the writing scores on the SAT have been the lowest that they have ever been nationally.
So, which test is easier? There is no concrete proof showing that one test is easier than the other. Each test plays to different strengths, so it may be a good idea to try to gauge which exam may be a better fit for you. People say that the ACT is more straight-forward while the SAT is more tricky. The SAT requires a stronger vocabulary, while the ACT requires to read, process and retain information quickly. There is a long-standing myth that girls tend to do better on the ACT, and boys on the SAT. It is important to know that your gender cannot predict a better outcome on either of these tests.
Here are a few factual differences between the two exams:
All of this information is valid as of now. As we know, major changes are coming to the SAT in 2016 (see my previous blog entry). If you are still having trouble deciding, Kaplan put together this short SAT vs. ACT practice exam with answers so that you can decide which exam is a better fit for you. You can view it here.
Honestly, you can do well on either exam as long as you have the proper preparation.
Happy Memorial Day! Here is our Memorial Day coupon code: Enter “flag” at checkout or 20% off! Expires Friday, May 30th.
I read that a poll found that up to 80% of Americans do not know the meaning of Memorial Day. Here is a quick history lesson: Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, honors Americans that have died defending the USA. Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971 and most banks, businesses and shops are closed. It also marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Over 600,000 soldiers were killed during the American Civil War (1861-1865) making it America’s deadliest war.
Since there were so many killed during this war, national cemeteries were established and Americans started to hold springtime tributes to all of the fallen soldiers. Flags and flowers were placed on graves and prayers were chanted, paying tribute to the young soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice. This is how Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, originated. The town of Waterloo, NY is said to be the ‘official birthplace’ of Memorial Day: on May 5th, 1866, all of the shops in Waterloo were closed so that Americans could pay tribute to the fallen soldiers.
Many people observe Memorial Day by having parties and barbecues, visiting graves and cemeteries, attending parades or just enjoying the day off. Since 1911, The Indy 500 has been held on Memorial Day weekend. In December, 2000 congress established the “National Moment of Remembrance”: At 3:00pm on Memorial Day, Americans everywhere are supposed to pause for one minute to reflect on and remember the sacrifices made to provide freedom for all, although many people don’t even know about this.
Fun Fact: A group of children touring the nation’s capital were asked “What is Memorial Day?” to which they responded, “That’s the day the pool opens!”. This is why the National Moment of Remembrance was established.
Enjoy your Memorial Day!
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube! If you’ve never seen one of these, refer to the pics in the header. For the puzzle to be solved, each face of the cube must consist of one color only (refer to header pic on the right). The Rubik’s Cube is a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik, who wanted a way to help explain 3-D geometry. Originally called the ‘Magic Cube’, it reached its height of popularity in the 1980s.
After invention, the Rubik’s Cube became a hot commodity in Hungary (where Erno was from), but it took Mathematicians taking it to international conferences and toy fairs to make it the world’s best selling toy. To date, over 350 million have been sold. I had one of these growing up and I loved trying to solve it. It’s a good logic game that helps develop critical thinking skills among other things. If you don’t have one, get one! They are cheap and fun to work on. Here is a good quote from Erno Rubik that I think we can all apply to our every day lives:
“If you’re curious, you’ll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.” -Erno Rubik
Some people can solve a Rubik’s Cube in seconds. There are competitions around the world to see who can set new records for solving the cube. There are many cheat sheets and videos online available with helpful tips. I just watched a bunch of Rubik's Cube youtube videos. Check out this video containing some world record holders solving the cube (they are called 'Speed Cubers'). Watch how fast they go! Mats Valk of the Netherlands is the current record holder - he solved it in 5.55 seconds. I wish I had a Rubik's Cube here with me - I would like to test my skills! How fast can you go?