In fact, the ACT has pulled ahead for the first time: 1,666,017 students took the ACT last year; 1,664,479 took the SAT.
It’s not that the SAT is losing customers. On the contrary, the number of test takers has grown. It’s that the ACT is growing much faster, in part because 12 states now require, and pay for, all public high school juniors to take the test. But that’s not the only reason for the ACT’s rising popularity. There is also a real shift in the behavior of top high school students, with many more choosing to work toward impressive scores on both tests.