Your Official ACT to SAT Score Conversion Chart

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In this post, we’ll discuss the two primary standardized tests taken by college applicants: the SAT and the ACT. We’ll discuss how each is scored, the scoring scales, and how you can perform an SAT-to-ACT conversion, as well as an ACT-to-SAT conversion.  

 

How Is the SAT Scored?

 

Up until 2016, 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 their SAT, your recent score of 1480 may actually be more impressive, since it 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 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 it remains challenging to compare SAT vs. 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. To compare your SAT to ACT scores (and vice versa), you must either perform an SAT-to-ACT conversion or an ACT-to-SAT conversion. 

 

To convert your SAT score to the ACT scale, or the other way around, 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.

 

SAT to ACT Conversion:

 

*An asterisk indicates that you should use this SAT score when a single score point comparison is needed

 

SAT Score ACT Score SAT Percentile ACT Percentile
1600 36 99+ 100
*1590 36 99+ 100
1580 36 99+ 100
1570 36 99+ 100
1560 35 99+ 99
1550 35 99+ 99
*1540 35 99 99
1530 35 99 99
1520 34 99 99
*1500 34 99 99
1490 34 98 99
1480 34 98 99
1470 33 98 98
*1460 33 97 98
1450 33 97 98
1440 33 96 98
*1430 32 96 97
1420 32 95 97
1410 31 95 95
*1400 31 94 95
1390 31 94 95
1380 30 93 93
*1370 30 92 93
1360 30 92 93
1350 29 91 91
*1340 29 90 91
1330 29 89 91
1320 28 88 89
*1310 28 88 89
1300 28 87 89
1290 27 86 86
*1280 27 84 86
1270 27 83 86
1260 27 82 86
1250 26 81 82
*1240 26 80 82
1230 26 79 82
1220 25 77 78
*1210 25 76 78
1200 25 74 78
1190 24 73 74
*1180 24 72 74
1170 24 70 74
1160 24 68 74
1150 23 67 69
*1140 23 65 69
1130 23 63 69
1120 22 62 63
*1110 22 60 63
1100 22 58 63
1090 21 56 58
*1080 21 54 58
1070 21 52 58
1060 21 51 58
1050 20 49 51
*1040 20 47 51
1030 20 45 51
1020 19 43 45
*1010 19 41 45
1000 19 39 45
990 19 37 45
980 18 36 39
*970 18 34 39
960 18 32 39
950 17 31 32
940 17 29 32
*930 17 27 32
920 17 26 32
910 16 24 26
900 16 23 26
*890 16 21 26
880 16 20 26
870 15 18 20
860 15 17 20
*850 15 15 20
840 15 14 20
830 15 13 20
820 14 12 14
810 14 11 14
*800 14 10 14
790 14 9 14
780 14 8 14
770 13 7 8
*760 13 6 8
750 13 5 8
740 13 4 8
730 13 4 8
720 12 3 4
*710 12 3 4
700 12 2 4
690 12 2 4
680 11 1 1
*670 11 1 1
660 11 1 1
650 11 1 1
640 10 -1 1
*630 10 -1 1
620 10 -1 1
610 9 -1 1
600 9 -1 1

 

ACT to SAT Conversion

 

ACT SAT SAT Range ACT Percentile
36 1590 1570-1600 100
35 1540 1530-1560 99
34 1500 1490-1520 99
33 1460 1450-1480 98
32 1430 1420-1440 97
31 1400 1390-1410 95
30 1370 1360-1380 93
29 1340 1330-1350 91
28 1310 1300-1320 89
27 1280 1260-1290 86
26 1240 1230-1250 82
25 1210 1200-1220 78
24 1180 1160-1190 74
23 1140 1130-1150 69
22 1110 1100-1120 63
21 1080 1060-1090 58
20 1040 1030-1050 51
19 1010 990-1020 45
18 970 960-980 39
17 930 920-950 32
16 890 880-910 26
15 850 830-870 20
14 800 780-820 14
13 760 730-770 8
12 710 690-720 4
11 670 650-680 1
10 630 620-640 1
9 590 590-610 1

 

Note: Concordance tables for the ACT Composite were derived from concordances of the ACT sum score.

 

Why Knowing Your Converted SAT/ACT Score is Important

 

You’ll notice numerous similarities comparing the SAT vs. ACT; however, there are also a handful of subtle differences between the two tests. Because of these differences, students generally perform better on one than the other. It’s recommended before committing to taking either the SAT or the ACT that students take practice versions of both tests to see which format favors them—knowing how SAT compared with ACT scores translate offers valuable insight into determining which test is best for you.

 

Another valuable piece of information obtained from knowing how SAT scores compare to ACT scores is an improved understanding of your overall performance, and how it compares to the applicants you’ll compete against for admission. 

 

If you’re preparing for your SAT or ACT, don’t miss these important preparation tools:

 

SAT Prep Resources

Your Guide to Free SAT Prep Classes

How to Pace Yourself on Every Section of the SAT

What is a Good SAT Essay Score?

 

ACT Prep Resources

What Is a Good ACT Score?

Top 10 ACT Tips for Acing the Exam

What’s the Highest ACT Score Possible?

 

Additional SAT & ACT Resources

How Many SAT or ACT Practice Tests Should You Take?

ACT vs SAT/SAT Subject Tests

 

Preparing for the SAT? Download our free guide with our top 8 tips for mastering the SAT.

 

Want to know how your SAT score/ACT score impacts your chances of acceptance to your dream schools? Our free Chancing Engine will not only help you predict your odds, but also let you know how you stack up against other applicants, and which aspects of your profile to improve. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to gain access to our Chancing Engine and get a jumpstart on your college strategy!

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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.