Should I take the ACT/SAT?


I’m struggling to make a decision!

For the past year I have been researching universities that I am interested in, especially in US, Canada and Australia. However, majority of the universities (especially US) requires me to take the SAT/ACT, but its too late for me to take it because that means I have to study SAT/ACT when I’ve been studying NCEA. Is there other options for me to apply to a university overseas that doesn’t require me to take the SAT/ACT? Is there such a thing where they accept NCEA-converted GPA? NCEA is stressful enough and having to study the ACT/SAT is just going to be harder - considering I’m a year 12;I’d rather kill two birds with one stone.

If ^^ doesn’t work, do you think its best to get a Bachelor’s Degree in NZ/AUS then do masters overseas? or its just useless?



Hi @ereilz14,

Great question. Sitting the SAT or ACT is a very common concern, because it’s not something we’re used to outside of the US. However, the fact that you study NCEA is not a disadvantage at all. In the US, students do not study a curriculum that covers anything that’s in the SAT/ACT test. They study for the test in their own time, completely independently of their school curriculum.

My advice is that if you’re interested in studying overseas, you certainly should take the SAT/ACT next year and then apply to schools in the US.

The SAT/ACT is much easier than you think. It’s a standardized reading, writing and maths test that is very predictable and masterable. There are multiple testing dates throughout this year and next year and since you’re year 12 now, you have until the December 2018 testing date to sit the exam (a long time!).

If you feel confident, and particularly if you have support, you can master the exam within a number of weeks. All it takes is to sit down with the SAT/ACT book and read the support notes and sit past exam papers. You will identify your weaknesses after each practice test, correct them, and repeat the process.

The idea of sitting the SAT/ACT can be very daunting, but trust me that you are extremely capable of doing well and you have plenty of time to take it.

Good luck!