Your Official ACT to SAT Score Conversion Chart
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.
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.|
|*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.|
If you’re preparing for your SAT or ACT, don’t miss these important preparation tools:
SAT Prep Resources
ACT Prep Resources
Additional SAT & ACT Resources
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