Can I Take the ACT or SAT in Another Language?

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?

A visual of Google Translate, translating from English to Japanese.

Can you take the ACT or SAT in another language?

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.

What should you do?

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. The ACT is much more straightforward in its language. Its subject tests focus more on mathematics, stats, graphs, numbers, etc. The SAT focuses more on language and critical thinking. 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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