Inspirica's Agnostic Diagnostic

ACT/SAT TEST SELECTION MADE EASY

Many people make the mistake of thinking that there’s no real difference between the SAT and the ACT. Both 3-letter acronyms, both terrible ways to spend a Saturday – they’ve got to be similar, right? Not so much; actually, these two tests are extremely different, and every student is more likely to succeed on one than on the other. We’ve got good news, though: Inspirica’s Agnostic Diagnostic simulates both tests in a single sitting, then provides you with a clear recommendation of which one best fits your individual testing style. We can help you waste the test without wasting your time — it’s ACT SAT test selection made easy!

The Agnostic Diagnostic is a proprietary tool developed by a team of our most experienced test experts. It’s designed to simulate both the ACT and the SAT in a single testing session by incorporating all the major challenges unique to each test, from the question types to the order of the sections to the amount of time allotted per question. 

After completing the test, each student’s results are analyzed by our team of test experts using official score data from both the ACT and the SAT and a variety of performance metrics to produce a starting score range for each test and a customized test recommendation for each student. With that recommendation in hand, students can then confidently prepare for the test knowing that they’ve selected the one best suited to their individual style.

ACT

The ACT is a series of wind sprints: quick exercises in which managing your time and conserving your energy are the biggest challenges.

SAT

The SAT is an obstacle course: a slower series of varied and difficult problems in which thinking creatively and finding shortcuts are paramount.

THREE HOURS. TWO SCORES. ONE DATA-DRIVEN RECOMMENDATION.

For a limited time, purchase our Agnostic Diagnostic service for just $49 and receive a $99 credit towards any of our SAT or ACT prep programs after you complete the AgDi. Start your prep program with the confidence that comes from knowing you’ve made the right choice — and saved money to boot!

HOW IT WORKS

You will:

  • give us $49.
  • download the test PDF and bubble sheet through your Inspirica.com account, then take the test.
  • scan your bubble sheet using a scanner or the Adobe app.
  • submit your answers using your Inspirica.com account.
  • …that’s it.

We will:

  • review and process your submitted bubble sheet.
  • compare your results to years of official score data.
  • analyze your testing strengths & weaknesses and weigh them against the unique characteristics of the ACT and the SAT.
  • craft a testing recommendation based on a combination of your results, the official score data, and our 40 years of experience tutoring these tests.
  • return to you by email a detailed analysis document that breaks down your performance in each section of the AgDi and gives an in-depth explanation of your test recommendation.
  • give you $99 in credit that can be put toward any online prep program with our squad of ACT or SAT sensei. (For those of you keeping score at home, that’s $50 more than you paid for the AgDi in the first place.

SAMPLE ANALYSIS

ABOUT THE SERVICE

ONE TEST

The Agnostic Diagnostic is divided into seven short sections, each modeled on one of the sections of either the SAT or ACT. It does not include an essay, and nearly all questions are multiple-choice.

The first section is a Reading Test. Students read several passages from college-level fiction and non-fiction works in a format that models the SAT. The questions in this section test reading comprehension with a focus on understanding the development of themes throughout the passage.

The next section is an English Test. This is a fast-paced section that tests familiarity with the conventions of written English, including punctuation and sentence structure, within the context of analytical, persuasive, and first-person passages. This section models both the SAT and ACT, as the two tests are nearly identical in format for this set of tasks.

The next three sections are Math Tests. The first of these is modeled on the ACT and focuses on concepts learned in math class from pre-algebra to precalculus, with a special emphasis on word problems and abstract algebra. The second test models the SAT in challenging students to complete a variety of tasks in each individual question, which are often presented as real-world applications of algebra and geometry. The third test also models the SAT; it challenges students in many of the same ways as the previous section, but with the added difficulty of completing the test without the use of a calculator. These questions often test multiple concepts at once, requiring students to see connections between topics in a manner that necessitates creativity.

The sixth section is a second Reading Test, this time designed to model the ACT. As before, students must complete questions spread across three passages, but in this section they are given ten fewer minutes with which to work, forcing a frantic pace that matches the one required by the ACT.

The final section is a Science Test modeled on the ACT. This test is not so much a measurement of scientific knowledge as it is an assessment of a student’s ability to read and interpret data. Tables, charts, graphs, and figures are the central focus of the six passages in this section, each of which poses six or seven questions about the scientific methods or experimental results detailed within. No calculator is permitted on this section.

ONE RECOMMENDATION

Each student’s results are analyzed by Inspirica’s test experts, who use official score data and a variety of performance metrics to produce a starting score range for each test and a customized test recommendation for each student. A student’s test recommendation is based partly on their score ranges, but several other factors are taken into account as well, including:

  • in which sections the student performed the strongest and weakest;
  • whether, and in which sections, the student had timing problems;
  • the student’s relative performance on the Math sections, which represent one of the most significant differences between the SAT and ACT.

Our approach to test selection is grounded in the fact that just as the SAT and ACT are not the same, no two students are the same; every recommendation we give is based on the strengths & weaknesses of the specific student and how those line up with the characteristics of each test. We’ve even gone so far as to give each student a tester-type – a designation that summarizes and elucidates the student’s test-taking “personality” by comparing them to one of the archetypal groups of ACT/SAT testers in order to provide important context.

With our data-driven test recommendation in hand, students can confidently prepare for the test knowing that they’ve selected the one best suited to their individual style.

THREE HOURS

In a single test session, students face all the major structural and conceptual challenges posed by each test, allowing them to complete two tests’ worth of material in the time it takes to complete one official test. The AgDi takes about three hours to complete, and with setup, instructions, and breaks, the entire testing experience should take fewer than four hours.

The test does not include an essay, as the essay scores on the SAT and ACT don’t affect students’ composite scores, rendering them irrelevant for the purposes of test determination. Nearly all the questions on the AgDi are multiple-choice, as is the case on both the ACT and the SAT; however, there are several grid-in questions at the end of each AgDi SAT Math section to accurately simulate the corresponding sections on the official test.

The timing of each section is as follows:

Reading 1 (SAT): 28 questions, 35 minutes
English: 30 questions, 20 minutes
Math 1 (ACT): 30 questions, 30 minutes
Break: 10 minutes
Math 2 (SAT): 15 questions, 20 minutes
Math 3 (SAT): 15 questions, 20 minutes
Break: 5 minutes
Reading 2 (ACT): 28 questions, 25 minutes
Science: 40 questions, 35 minutes

TWO SCORES

Each student will receive a comprehensive score report and test analysis. The report includes:

  • accurate starting score ranges and sub-ranges for each test section.
  • composite score ranges for both the SAT and ACT.
  • breakdowns of the percentage of questions that you answered correctly, answered incorrectly, and omitted in each section.
  • a question-by-question map of each section that displays your answer to each problem and whether you got the question correct.
  • a breakdown of your content strengths & weaknesses in the English section.

Score ranges are calculated based on data collected from all available official practice tests for both the SAT and ACT. Inspirica’s team of test experts aggregated the raw score numbers required to hit certain benchmark scaled scores in each section for all released official tests, determined the average raw score for each benchmark, and then scaled those raw scores to match the lengths of the corresponding AgDi sections. You can be confident that your scores are based directly on the most accurate data available.

For complete details on the test, its construction, and our scoring methodologies, please see the latest edition of our Agnostic Diagnostic white paper