How Does My ACT Score Compare to
the New SAT?

How does my ACT score compare to a similar score on the New SAT? With all of the recent changes to the SAT test, it can be difficult to compare across scores. Below, I list some options and tips for comparing scores across tests. 

Knowing how your ACT score compare across the New SAT gives you valuable information for 1) tailoring test prep; 2) deciding which scores to send to colleges.  Don't forget to read my article on the different options for sending test scores to colleges--especially important for students applying to highly selective colleges.

How Does My ACT Score Compare to SAT?

Below are three conversion scales (I know, it's complicated!). The score conversion scales are tools to help students understand the test score results, to help students prepare for the ACT or prepare for the SAT, and to know which scores to send to colleges. Also, you may want to read my explanation of the practice of superscoring used by colleges, after you better understand how the ACT score compare to SAT score. 

Option #1: ACT Compared to New SAT

Many of the conversion tables floating around on the Internet are now outdated since the New SAT arrived in March 2016. Here are the newly released ACT-New SAT conversion chart. The chart below compares the ACT Composite score to the combined Math-Reading sections of the New SAT.

ACT vs SAT

36  =  1600

35  =  1570

34  =  1540

33  =  1500

32  =  1470

31  =  1430

30  = 1400

29  = 1360

28 = 1320

27  = 1290

26  = 1260

25 = 1220

24  = 1180

23  = 1140

22  = 1110

21  = 1070

20 = 1030

19  = 990

18  = 950

17  = 910

16 = 870

15  = 830

14  = 780

13  = 740

12  = 680

Online Calculator

Note: Students are not required to take both tests (or submit scores from both tests if taken). Students would spend time and energy studying for whichever test they feel will ultimately yield the highest score. Don't forget to check out my book recommendations for the ACT and/or SAT that I use to tutor my students. 

Option #2: How Do I Compare Single Sections?

Some students (and parents) want to know how to compare single sections, for example SAT Reading to ACT Reading. The easiest way to do that is to divide the new SAT score in half (the old SAT into thirds) and compare to ACT single section score. 

ACT vs SAT

36  =  800

35  =  785

34  =  770

33  =  750

32  =  735

31  =  715

30  = 700

29  = 680

28 = 660

27  = 645

26  = 630

25 = 610

24  = 590

23  = 570

22  = 555

21  = 540

20 = 515

19  = 495

18  = 475

17  = 455

16 = 435

15  = 415

14  = 390

13  = 370

12  = 340

For example, if a student scored a 27 on the Reading section of the ACT, the score would be equivalent to 645 on the New SAT, or if a student scored a 32 on the Math section of the ACT, the score would be 735 on the New SAT. Remember, the more selective the college, the more likely to compare not only the total score but also the separate section scores as well.

Note: If you are scoring low in Math, but not Reading (or vice-versa), make sure to purchase ACT or SAT materials that specifically target those sections (rather than the books that target the whole test).

Option #3: ACT Score Compare to Old SAT

The conversion table below compares the ACT Composite score to the OLD SAT score (which is the sum of Critical Reading, Math, and Writing section score). Only Class of 2017 had the option of submitting test scores from the New and Old SAT (given January 2016 and earlier).

ACT vs SAT

36  =  2400

35  =  2340

34  =  2260

33  =  2190

32  =  2130

31  =  2040

30  = 1980

29  = 1920

28 = 1860

27  = 1820

26  = 1760

25 = 1700

24  = 1650

23  = 1590

22  = 1530

21  = 1500

20 = 1410

19  = 1350

18  = 1290

17  = 1210

16 = 1140

15  = 1060

14  = 1000

13  = 900

12  = 780

Should I Send Scores From Both Tests?

Is there an advantage to sending score results from BOTH tests? Typically, no. The only case would be if a student scored EQUALLY well on both tests. Avoid sending in lower test scores on one exam because it could weaken your overall application, especially at highly selective colleges. If your ACT score compare to SAT score is much higher, just send the scores.

Do I Have to Take the SAT?

If your ACT scores were significantly below the SAT, then maybe skip the test. Sometimes, if the scores are relatively equal, then pick the test you liked best. Still not sure? Read my articles "Should I take the ACT or SAT test?" or "Which Scores Should I Send to Colleges?" And good luck!

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