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History of ACT vs. SAT

The ACT is an excellent alternative to the SAT—for some students. It is now accepted by every college in America. However, this was not always the case. Below is a brief history of the rise of the ACT as an alternative to the SAT.


In 2007, ACT made significant inroads on the east and west coasts, where traditionally SAT had dominated the college entrance exam market. When Wake Forest began accepting the ACT in 2006, Harvey Mudd stood as the lone college to not accept the ACT. In 2007, however, the prestigious Claremont California institution opened its doors to ACT making acceptance of the ACT universal among colleges in the US.

That same year, Neil Chyten created one of the country’s first ACT vs. SAT comparison tests using a proprietary algorithm that proved both accurate and remarkably predictive. That test was administered to more than 11,000 students in 13 US states.


In 2010, more than 1,600,000 students took the ACT, overtaking the SAT and making it the most popular college entrance test in America and the world. Since then, both the SAT and ACT have undergone major changes which in some ways make the tests more similar. However, each test continues to maintain its own unique identity, often making one or the other a better choice for students.


In April of 2013, major changes to the SAT were announced. Immediately, Neil Chyten and his curriculum team began a research project to analyze these changes and create an entirely new set of preparation materials that would be just as effective as his previous iterations. Among these new materials was the second generation ACT vs. SAT Comparison Test, introduced in 2015 and since administered to over 2500 students. Also in 2015 and 2016, ACT introduced several new elements into its test. These changes included a new expanded Essay, paired reading passages, new English categories, and a reduction in the number of ACT Science passages from seven to six.


In 2017, more than 2,000,000 took the ACT. In addition, many states began to use ACT or SAT as a graduation requirement, making solid test-taking performance even more crucial to student success.

Also in 2017, Neil Chyten and his curriculum team created a new test to measure comparative ACT/SAT ability. This new test is called the Test of ACT/SAT Comparative Ability, or simply “TASCATM”.

The TASCA Test

NC Global’s TASCA test provides deep analytics that help each student identify which test is better, the ACT or SAT. The TASCA considers all test components and provides a detailed analysis of results. Its accuracy is based on the more than 75 years of collective test-writing and psychometric test-design experience of Neil Chyten and his team of curriculum writers. It incorporates all recent changes to SAT and ACT, and gives families an accurate picture of a student’s relative ability on these two benchmark tests.

The TASCA test is offered free of charge to families and school systems. Please contact NC Global at info@ncglobaledu.com, or call 800-429-1028.