ACT vs SAT – Math Comparision


Universities accept both ACT and SAT test results for admissions, which gives you a choice of tests. Everyone wants to choose the easier test. So, how do we know which test is easiest? Which is the hardest topic in any competitive exam? Math! Math has always posed a severe challenge for many students.

So, let’s compare the Mathematical Sections for both ACT and SAT.

What is ACT Math like?

In ACT Math, students have total of 60 minutes in which to answer 60 questions. There are two subsections with different types of questions:

  1. Higher Mathematics (57- 60%) includes topics like algebra, functions, geometry, statistics and probability.
  2. Integrated Essential Mathematics (40- 43%) involving ratios and proportions, equivalent expressions, and so on.

What is SAT Math like?

The SAT Math is also divided into two sub-sections: Calculator- 38 questions (55 minutes); No-Calculator- 20 questions (25 minutes). The questions come in four different categories:

  1. Heart of Algebra (19 questions) – linear equations, inequalities, and graphs.
  2. Problem-solving and Data analysis (17 questions)- percentages, charts, statistics and probability.
  3. Advanced Math (16 questions)- quadratic and non-linear equations.
  4. Additional Topics (6 questions)- geometry and trigonometry.

Some critical differences between the tests, depend on their structure.



More than a minute to question

A minute to a question exactly.

Multiple choice and gridded response questions

All questions are multiple-choice.

Slightly greater emphasis on critical thinking skills

Slightly greater emphasis on remembering how to perform calculations

Each question has 4 answer options.

Each question has 5 answer options.

Now that we know the differences between SAT and ACT Math sections, after selecting the exam that you want to take, review the topics you would like to focus on and identify/implement strategies that help you overcome difficulties in solving them.

Rocket City Learning Center has the best teachers, experienced in preparing students for ACT/SAT Math and Mathematics in general. Our programs will help you employ appropriate strategies and increase your focus in the areas where you experience difficulties.