ACT Or SAT? Five Tips to Pick the Right College Entrance Exam

The SAT and ACT are both respected, nationally-recognized tests. Historically, there’s been a geographic divide between the two; nowadays, very few colleges require or prefer one test over the other. So which one should you take? Well, since you can’t really say one test is any easier than the other, that all depends on your skills and preferences. Basically, you should go for the one you’ll score higher on!

Here are some tips to help you make your decision:

1. Who says size doesn’t matter?

The ACT is a shorter test. The SAT takes a whopping 3 hours, 45 minutes, while the ACT comes out to a hefty 2 hours, 55 minutes, making the SAT about 30% longer than the ACT. Either way, you’re stuck taking a long test. If you have a ridiculously short attention span, then the ACT might be right for you, but realistically, after nearly 3 hours, why sweat an extra 50 minutes?

2. When in doubt, just guess… right?

The SAT has a guessing penalty – minus a quarter of a point for each incorrect response. Not so with the ACT. Guess away! So you should answer every question on the ACT, but on the SAT, you should just leave the answer blank when you can’t eliminate at least one answer choice. Does this make the SAT “harder”? Not really. With the right strategies, you can even make the SAT’s guessing penalty work to your advantage.

3. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s superscore!

The SAT reports each of your three “subscores” separately-one each for critical reading, writing, and mathematics. So, many colleges will combine your best three subscores from all the times you’ve taken the SAT to make a “superscore.” In the past, schools would not do this with the ACT. Recently, however, many schools have begun to make ACT “superscores” too.

4. What is the difference anyway?

Both tests have a grammar, reading comprehension, essay and math portions. The ACT has an extra “science” section, but don’t worry. I used quotes because it’s really just another test of your reasoning skills – not much chemistry, physics or biology knowledge needed. Broadly speaking, the ACT tests skills that you (should have) learned in high school, while the SAT tries to evaluate your innate problem-solving abilities.

For example, the ACT math section tests a few topics that typically aren’t covered until pre-calculus. While the SAT leaves out these topics, its math problems generally have more complicated setups.

The ACT’s essay is optional, but some colleges require it anyway. Its essay topics are always questions of school policy, while the SAT’s essays deal with more abstract moral or philosophical issues.

In the critical reading sections, the SAT’s vocabulary is harder, but the ACT taxes your critical reading and analysis skills. The ACT English section gives you a couple of long passages with grammar and critical reading questions mixed together; the SAT tests reading and grammar separately.

5. You can’t know if you like it till you’ve tried it!

How do I know which test is better for me? Try them! Take some free practice tests online and see which one fits your fancy. Both the SAT and ACT offer practice questions or tests on their official websites.

Life Success Lessons From 15 Orison Swett Marden Quotes

1. All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a target which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. This is something I often repeat, however I cannot stress highly enough the need to know what you want, and to define a singular, overriding goal for your life. We do not need to know how we will accomplish that, we just need to be mindful that the things we do, move forward this singular purpose.

2. Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action. In taking action toward my large goal, it never astounds me how many times seeming accidents and various events fall into place or cross my path. When you are in action with a huge goal, then the resources, personal power and people you need, at the times you need them, just seem to show up. When I digress and take my eyes off the target, not much seems to go right.

3. If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place. I really do get lost in time and live in the moments, when I am doing what you are meant to be doing. You often hear of people operating in The Zone. I also find myself learning the life and experience lessons to which I need exposure for the next phase of the accomplishment of an outcome. I often experience personal breakthroughs that prepare me for further growth.

4. It is like the seed put in the soil – the more one sows, the greater the harvest. An example is the number of readers who subscribe at a member site. The more value is provided, the larger a list of subscribers grows. As the list grows in number of people, it attracts a higher calibre of offers and people who contact the site owner for participating in joint ventures. In turn, this increases the abundance of resources that become available to the site owner too, including financial reward.

5. Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them. We have all heard that ninety percent of a task is the starting of it. When you are confronted and gripped by fear or doubt, it is always a best remedy to simply take an action toward your desired outcome. Just decide, and then keep walking. If we are facing in the right direction, all we need to do is to keep walking.

6. Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight. Our imagination is a wonderful tool, yet it can also be your greatest enemy in the face of large goals. Remember to use the pictures in your mind to greatest advantage. Avoid allowing your mind to create mountains from molehills.

7. There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake. Our greatest work is creating personal and self-belief, in trusting that what is happening today is meant to be happening for eventual greatest good. You make have heard the tale of the man who clipped the cocoon of a butterfly, as it struggled to emerge.

8. Unless you have prepared yourself to profit by your chance, the opportunity will only make you ridiculous. A great occasion is valuable to you just in proportion as you have educated yourself to make use of it. This quote reminds me of the saying – when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I am sure we have all personally experienced this in our own lives at some time. Allow spaces for gestation, and develop patience, learn to relax a little!

9. We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are confident and believe we are going to win out. Collect evidence of success as you move forward in your journey. Develop self-belief by noticing all the large and small victories along the way. It is useful to measure progress and know how far you have come, to boost confidence for the remaining part of the journey. For example, when mountain climbing, peak bagging is often used as a motivation to keep reaching new summits.

10. You cannot measure a man by his failures. You must know what use he makes of them. What did they mean to him. What did he get out of them. I love the Japanese saying, fall down seven times, and get up eight. Trust that every time you brush off the dust after a fall, and take action on what is next instead of giving in to temporary setbacks, you will grow. The most inspiring biographies include stories of personal challenges that were overcome and moved through.

11. You will never succeed while smarting under the drudgery of your occupation, if you are constantly haunted with the idea that you could succeed better in something else. You must not split your focus. As long as you are living with an idea that the grass is greener on the other side, you will not be able to see that you can create what you want with what you currently have. Instead, you might continually wait for right conditions. I recommend reading the story, Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell.

12. Your expectations opens or closes the doors of your supply, If you expect grand things, and work honestly for them, they will come to you, your supply will correspond with your expectation. Raise your expectations. What the mind dwells upon, the body acts upon. If you find yourself stuck on a plateau, increase the size of your goal to one that will inspire greater action from you. The hands can’t have what the mind can’t see.

13. Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day. Look around you and notice to what you are committed. You created everything that surrounds you. Spend time to arrange things in your environment to enhance your experience of life and to support the things to which you say you are committed. Mix with people who have set their sights high, remove yourself from drama, complaint and gossip. If you find it difficult to do that physically, then at least remove your thoughts from those conversation and have an alternate mind picture on which you can focus in the midst of such situations. Learn and practise strategies to change conversations to be more constructive.

14. When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. In the words of Martin Luther King, we cannot take more than one step at a time. You do not have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. He did not see the end of the work he began, yet it came to fruition.

15. This is the test of your manhood [humanity]: How much is there left in you after you have lost everything outside of yourself? So many of us are now accustomed and programmed, to measuring ourselves, and each other, by tangible possessions. Remember the intangibles too, and start to see your true value. Know who you are when you stand apart from that job, house or car. If you possessed none of those, then what gift(s) do you bring to the table?

How to Teach Kids About Morals

Knowing how to teach kids about morals and get desirable results begins with you. Do you adhere to a set of moral values? How consistently do you act in accordance with those moral values? You will never teach kids about morals successfully if your personal behavior fails to agree with your teaching.

To begin, then, sit before a mirror and objectively evaluate your own behavior. If you want to teach kids about honesty, determine how honest you are. If you want to teach kids about morals such as respect and integrity, check your own levels of those traits. Be ruthless.

The Process

Knowing how to teach kids about morals and get desirable results involves a process family. We can sum up that family with this quote: “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” (Zig Ziglar)

Think of “Repetition” as the family surname, and the following three as given names.

  1. Repetition, the Mother of Learning
  2. Repetition, the Father of Action
  3. Repetition, the Architect of Accomplishment

The three Repetitions help those seeking to know how to teach kids about morals.

“But I hate repetitive tasks!” you say.

You hate repetitive tasks, but you probably love accomplishment. You are reading this article because you want kids to learn and practice morals, not simply to be exposed to morals.

The Mother of Learning

Let me introduce you to Repetition, the Mother of Learning. She is a kind and wise entity. She knows that a child can learn only by hearing the lesson over and over again. She knows that the 4-year-old kid who wants to learn about baseball needs to know about the game. So, line after line after line, she reads to that child about how to throw a ball, catch a ball, bat the ball, and so on. Soon, the child knows it all so well that he or she can repeat it verbatim. The child has learned about baseball through repetition.

HINT: To teach kids about moral values, we must repeat definitions, stories, songs, and explanations until children have memorized them.

The Father of Action

Repetition, the Father of Action is married to Repetition, the Mother of Learning. Once she has taught with repetition of words, the Father of Action steps onto the scene. He goes beyond words. He knows that a 4-year-old kid who wants to play baseball needs more than mere words. So, over and over and over, the Father of Action helps the child repeat basic motions of throwing, catching, and batting a ball. He helps the child apply the memorized words into repeated drill until acting out baseball becomes natural and fluent.

HINT: To teach kids about moral values, we must repeat guided use of each character trait until kids begin to exercise those values without help.

The Architect of Accomplishment

Now meet the third family member: Repetition, Architect of Accomplishment. An architect designs and guides a plan or project. Grandfather Architect uses the solid work done by Mother of Learning and Father of Action to design and guide kids’ building of moral values. True to the family name, he uses repetition. He helps children pay attention to details so they can work out the flaws in their understanding and practice of moral values. He provides models of the finished character building on which they are working. He injects enthusiasm and spirit into the process as results begin to show!

HINT: To teach kids about moral values, we must repeatedly call attention to flawed understanding and actions, repeatedly inject enthusiasm and even rewards until children consistently exercise desired moral values.


Repetition is the answer to teaching kids moral values. “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”

The repetition of character trait definitions, character in action, and spirited encouragement will give positive results!

Be Smart About Higher Education: A Six Step Assessment to Know Where You Are in Life

Where are you? Do you allow location access? Smart phones regularly pop-up this question in order to supply directions and relevant information to make the best choices available. The power of technology makes this happen in seconds, but it isn’t quite that easy in life.

In order to achieve anything significant in life or higher education, providing direction to the desired destination or goal comes only after identifying where the starting point is. Life is moving so fast for today’s student, the important things like taking the time to plan suffers at the expense of a hundred urgent things of little significance.

A planning problem occurs when self-deception creeps in making up a story that avoids getting to the core of the issue. If I stop smoking, I’ll gain weight (but actually, I get nervous and eat to calm down). I’m not good at names (because I don’t care to remember them). After starting college I’ll pick a major (because that’s hard work to figure it out beforehand).

Eliminating self-deception begins by describing things accurately. The brain works best when problems are clearly defined. Do not confuse this with negative self-talk that only leaves a broken spirit. Refuse to allow the “never good enough” and “who am I to think that… ” negative phrases to sabotage dreams.

An example of this is to think “I’m stupid” as opposed to “I did poorly on one test.” One is an opinion and derogatory while the other is specific and something the brain can work on a plan to make better. Words are powerful, especially self-talk that is continually bouncing around in the mind. Make it honest and positive!

Following is a Where Are You self-assessment with a P-E-R-M-S-F acrostic:

  • The P stands for Physical – weight, blood pressure, health, fitness (how many push-ups, sit-ups, etc.), nutrition, etc.
  • The E is for Emotional. Use a spreadsheet and list three positive things that were accomplished during the day. Categorize the entire day into one of three emoticons – sad, indifferent, or happy. At the end of the year a total for each emoticon can be calculated. Now how the year progressed emotionally is measured.
  • The R is for Relational. Married, parent, single, and in a relationship are the basics, but also include social circles and friends. A closest person category is limited to one or two people. Close might be two to three, good friends may range from three to 12, and Facebook friends don’t count.
  • The M represents the Mental or intellectual side of life. Note all formal education, but informal as well. A great book, 7 Kinds of Smart, is a good reference to combat a problematic stereotype in society. A professor is considered smart while the maintenance person is at best labeled less intelligent. The fact is both are smart and necessary for the institution of higher education to function. The maintenance person is smart at fixing things. Both are good at problem solving. The smarts are about specialized intelligence. Everyone is gifted, the challenge is finding, developing, and applying that gift.
  • The S refers to Spiritual and is the basis for decision-making. Whether a person professes allegiance to a particular religion or none at all indicates some type of worldview. What brings meaning to life? Is there a purpose to existence? Is humanity the result of intelligent design or a random arrangement of molecules?
  • Finally, F signifies Financial and is just a matter of digging up records or paying someone to do it. Identifying how money is earned and where it is spent defines what is important to you.

In summary, complete this self-assessment without getting over analytical. The objective is not to solve life’s problems with this article. Keep answers simple and straight-forward. The important thing is beginning a process of honest self-evaluation. The journey to a better life starts with a decision to take the first step.

Circumstances do not dictate personal response, you do. Diligently assessing where you are before and after the pursuit of higher education shifts thinking accordingly to determine what can be done. Dream big. As Les Brown quotes, “Live full, die empty.”

Colin Powell Quote: 5 Characteristics Of Success!

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” – Colin Powell

Success is abundance in whatever you desire. Colin Powell attained massive levels of success in government office, military and life. He mastered his energy and used it wisely. For a young boy to grow up in Harlem and then become United States Secretary of State. Colin Powell knew how to maximize his energy.

Colin Powell could have spent his energy many different ways, but he chose a certain path and by focusing his energy he took a position only sixty-four others had ever held.

If you are reading this then you have all the energy you need to produce abundance. Here is are five characteristics of success useful in any aspect of your life. If you integrate this into your life, it absolutely will give you the results you desire.

  1. Perfection: Be perfect in your thoughts, this will translate into character and actions. Guiding your thoughts perfectly is the key to guiding the energy you have available to you. Create the habit of thinking only of your desires and focusing on your goals, this is perfect thought. Let all distractions fall by the wayside, distractions just disperse your energy!
  2. Hard Work: So if you have mastered part 1 now you will not only pour your energy into intensely hard work, but you will also be taking perfect action. You mastered your mind now your body follows. This is all energy and remember energy in equals energy out.
  3. Learning From Failure: Okay, so now you must understand no matter how perfect you are you will have failure. This is not because you did something wrong this is because when you put energy into something, it always expresses itself. If you do not get the results you want you keep putting energy in, but you change the action. You keep the perfect goal and change only the action.
  4. Loyalty: This is an uncommon characteristic. So is massive success. Do you see the correlation? What should you be loyal to? Be loyal to yourself, your goals, your thoughts, your actions, your words, and your cause. There is tremendous energy in loyalty. With loyalty energy builds. Without loyalty you vacillate like a dog running from master to master dispersing all your valuable energy and receiving no loyalty (or energy) in return. If you have no loyalty, nothing will be loyal to you. Especially not success.
  5. Persistence: Persistence and loyalty are two parts of one whole. Persistence is something you do when you are loyal to yourself. When you know that nothing matters more that being loyal to your cause you will persist. Without persistence and loyalty all is lost.

When you take part in any endeavor whether it is a business deal, a relationship, a self study program, a college course or a seemingly insurmountable goal remember only you can decide what you will do with the energy you have been given in this life. You will be the one who feels the burden or reward of how you used your energy. You were given abundant energy and if you give that energy, as it was given to you, you shall also receive more.

Integrate these five characteristics into every aspect of your life, do not waste your energy and you will live life abundantly!