Your Official ACT to SAT Score Conversion Chart

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There are a few different options out there for college applicants who take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, and sometimes even these undergo significant changes. If you don’t stay on top of your testing knowledge, it can difficult to track how your test is scored and how that score stacks up.

 

In this post, we’ll discuss the two primary standardized taken by college applicants: the SAT and the ACT. We’ll discuss how each is scored, the scoring scales, and how you can convert your ACT score to an SAT score (and vice versa). 

 

How Is the SAT Scored?

 

Up until just a few years ago, the SAT had three sections, with each being worth up to 800 points. On that test, students received a score between 200-800 on every section and could achieve a composite score between 600-2400, calculated simply be adding up their section score totals.

 

Now, the SAT is back to two sections, each worth up to 800 points. There is an optional third section that is composed of an essay, but it is scored on a separate scale and not included in the composite score. On the most recent version of the SAT, students can achieve a composite score from 400-1600. This can get a little confusing when comparing scores. For example, if your older sibling scored a 1900 on his or her SAT, your recent score of 1480 may actually be more impressive, since it’s represents a higher achievement on a smaller scale.

 

In any case, your final SAT section scores and composite scores are calculated through an equating process in which raw score data is converted to to the 800-point scale. The exact process for this involves scanning your answer sheet to count the number of correct answers. This is your raw score, but you’ll never see it. Your raw score then undergoes an equating process to account for the specific difficulty of each version of the test. Equating results in your final section scores on the 800-point scale.

 

Scaled scores make it possible for you to compare scores from different versions of the SAT, but they are still difficult to compare to ACT scores, where the scoring scale differs significantly.

 

How Is the ACT Scored?

 

The scoring scale for the ACT is 1-36, and this is true regardless of whether you’re talking about a specific section or your composite score. Each section is graded individually from 1-36, and your scores on each section are then averaged to find your composite score. Fractions more than or equal to one half are rounded up to the nearest whole number, while fractions under one half are rounded down to the nearest whole number.

 

The process for scoring an ACT is both careful and complex. It is similar to that of scoring the SAT in that neither is scored on a student-based curve but both account for the slightly varying difficulty of different versions of the tests. The ACT does actually refer to this process as a curve, but it is not the kind of student-based curve most people are accustomed to hearing about. Instead of being based on the performance of your peers, this curve is test-specific and designed to correct for slight variations in the difficulty of each test.

 

This is an important process because multiple tests and test versions are administered each year and despite all efforts to make the tests exactly the same level of difficulty, this is nearly impossible to accomplish. Instead, each question on the ACT is weighted according to its individual difficulty, and these weights are accounted for through the ACT curving process.

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How Can I Convert My SAT Score to an ACT Score, or Convert My ACT Score to an SAT Score?

 

Converting your raw SAT or ACT score to a section score and composite score is only part of the process when it comes to comparing standardized test scores. These make it simple to compare your SAT score to other SAT scores, or to compare your ACT score to other ACT scores. It still does not allow you to compare SAT scores to ACT scores.

 

In order to convert your SAT score to the ACT scale, or vice versa, you’ll need to refer to the official concordance charts produced by the CollegeBoard. These tables provide a handy and up-to-date reference for converting your scores. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve copied the charts below. If you’d like to see them in their entirety, be sure to visit the Guide to the 2018 ACT®/SAT® Concordance.

2018 Concordance Tables

Table A1: SAT Total to ACT Composite. Table A2: ACT Composite to SAT Total.
SAT ACT SAT ACT ACT SAT  SAT Range
1600 36 1090 21 36 1590 1570-1600
*1590 36 *1080 21 35 1540 1530-1560
1580 36 1070 21 34 1500 1490-1520
1570 36 1060 21 33 1460 1450-1480
1560 35 1050 20 32 1430 1420-1440
1550 35 *1040 20 31 1400 1390-1410
*1540 35 1030 20 30 1370 1360-1380
1530 35 1020 19 29 1340 1330-1350
1520 34 *1010 19 28 1310 1300-1320
1510 34 1000 19 27 1280 1260-1290
*1500 34 990 19 26 1240 1230-1250
1490 34 980 18 25 1210 1200-1220
1480 33 *970 18 24 1180 1160-1190
1470 33 960 18 23 1140 1130-1150
*1460 33 950 17 22 1110 1100-1120
1450 33 940 17 21 1080 1060-1090
1440 32 *930 17 20 1040 1030-1050
*1430 32 920 17 19 1010 990-1020
1420 32 910 16 18 970 960-980
1410 31 900 16 17 930 920-950
*1400 31 *890 16 16 890 880-910
1390 31 880 16 15 850 830-870
1380 30 870 15 14 800 780-820
*1370 30 860 15 13 760 730-770
1360 30 *850 15 12 710 690-720
1350 29 840 15 11 670 650-680
*1340 29 830 15 10 630 620–640
1330 29 820 14 9 590 590–610
1320 28 810 14
*1310 28 *800 14
1300 28 790 14
1290 27 780 14
*1280 27 770 13
1270 27 *760 13
1260 27 750 13
1250 26 740 13
*1240 26 730 13
1230 26 720 12
1220 25 *710 12
*1210 25 700 12
1200 25 690 12
1190 24 680 11
*1180 24 *670 11
1170 24 660 11
1160 24 650 11
1150 23 640 10
*1140 23 *630 10
1130 23 620 10
1120 22 610 9
*1110 22 600 9
1100 22 *590 9
*Use this SAT score when a single score point comparison is needed.
Note: Concordance tables for the ACT Composite were derived from concordances of the ACT sum score.

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.