Students who have learned English as a second language might find the ACT and SAT tests to be intimidating since they rely pretty heavily on written English—particularly when it comes to the Reading, Writing, and Verbal sections. So is there a way an ESL or bilingual student could take the test in a language besides English?
Unfortunately, at this time neither the ACT nor the SAT are offered in foreign languages. Additionally, neither test will allow ESL students special accommodations—like extra time to take the tests.
So, if English isn’t your strong suit, what should you do? It’s recommended that ESL students should take the ACT over the SAT, since the ACT is much more straightforward in its language, and its subject tests focus more on mathematics, stats, graphs, numbers, etc. The SAT focuses more on language and critical thinking, and ESL students might find it a bit more difficult to understand.
If ESL students would like to brush up on their English skills, or get a better understanding of where their skills are currently at, they should consider taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) before the ACT or SAT. It would also be beneficial to take the PSAT or PreACT as well, to see which areas of the exams might give a student difficulty, so that they can study up in those particular spots.
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