ACT-to-SAT Conversion: How Do Your Scores Translate?

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  • Many U.S. colleges use SAT and ACT scores to help make admission decisions.
  • Official SAT-to-ACT conversion charts can help you see how scores compare across exams.
  • Conversion charts can't predict with 100% accuracy what score you'll get on the other test.

Every year, millions of high school students take the SAT and ACT — the two most widely used college entrance exams in the U.S. Many colleges review applicants' SAT and ACT scores during the admissions process.

While the two exams share some similarities in form and content, the ACT and SAT aren't identical. One key difference is how they're scored. The SAT uses a score range of 400-1600, whereas the ACT uses a score range of 1-36. So how do you compare scores from the exams?

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Fortunately, ACT Inc. and the College Board created an official ACT-to-SAT conversion chart that students, schools, educators, and parents can use to compare ACT vs. SAT scores.

Official SAT-to-ACT Conversion Chart

The following ACT-to-SAT conversion chart is the official concordance table made by ACT Inc., which administers the ACT, and the College Board, which administers the SAT.

Released in 2018, this chart allows test-takers, parents/guardians, teachers, counselors, and college admissions officers to compare scores between the ACT and SAT.

Note that these conversions are estimates and cannot predict with 100% accuracy how someone may perform if they took the other test.

Official SAT-to-ACT Conversion Chart
ACT Composite SAT Total ACT Composite SAT Total
36 1570-1600 22 110-1120
35 1530-1560 21 1060-1090
34 1490-1520 20 1030-1050
33 1450-1480 19 990-1020
32 1420-1440 18 960-980
31 1390-1410 17 920-950
30 1360-1380 16 880-910
29 1330-1350 15 830-870
28 1300-1320 14 780-820
27 1260-1290 13 730-770
26 1230-1250 12 690-720
25 1200-1220 11 650-680
24 1160-1190 10 620-640
23 1130-1150 9 590-610

ACT vs. SAT Scores: Conversion Charts by Section

In addition to the general SAT-to-ACT conversion chart above, the College Board and ACT Inc. released two subject-specific concordance tables: one for math and one for reading and writing.

The math table below compares ACT Math scores with SAT Math scores. Because the SAT does not have a separate Science section like the ACT does, there is no concordance chart for science-related scores.

ACT/SAT Math Section Conversion Chart
ACT Math SAT Math ACT Math SAT Math
36 800 22 540
35 770-790 21 530
34 760 20 520
33 740-750 19 510
32 720-730 18 490-500
31 710 17 460-480
30 690-700 16 420-450
29 680 15 380-410
28 660-670 14 350-370
27 630-650 13 320-340
26 610-620 12 300-310
25 590-600 11 280-290
24 570-580 10 260-270
23 550-560

The following reading and writing concordance table converts SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) scores — which is a combination of your Reading and Writing and Language scores — into ACT English + Reading scores (and vice versa).

Note that ACT scores go up to 72 to account for the fact that ACT Reading and ACT English scores, which each use a scale of 1-36, have been added together.

ACT/SAT Reading and Writing Section Conversion Chart
ACT English + Reading SAT EBRW ACT English + Reading SAT EBRW
72 790-800 39 520
71 770-780 38 510
70 750-760 36-37 500
69 740 35 490
68 730 34 480
67 720 33 470
66 710 32 460
64-65 700 31 450
63 690 30 440
61-62 680 29 430
60 670 28 420
58-59 660 27 410
57 650 26 400
55-56 640 25 390
53-54 630 24 380
52 620 23 370
50-51 610 22 360
49 600 21 350
48 590 20 340
46-47 580 19 330
45 570 18 320
44 560 17 310
43 550 16 300
41-42 540 15 290
40 530 14 280

How to Use SAT-to-ACT Conversion Charts

Students can use the above ACT-to-SAT conversion charts to see how their SAT or ACT scores compare, to inform the college search process, and to assess their readiness for college.

Though not 100% accurate, these charts can also help you see where you're likely to score on the other exam, which is useful for students debating whether to take the SAT or ACT.

Other people who may need to use SAT-to-ACT conversion charts include the following:

  • Guidance Counselors: Can use ACT-to-SAT conversion charts to counsel and guide high school students in their college exploration and assess students' preparedness for college-level coursework.
  • Teachers: Can use conversion charts to aggregate scores across tests and assess students' readiness for college.
  • Policymakers: Can use conversions to aggregate scores across the two tests and assess students' preparedness for college, adjusting curricula and resources for areas that may need improvement.
  • Researchers: Can use concordance tables to aggregate scores across the two exams to measure college readiness for specific student populations.
  • Colleges and Universities: Can use SAT-to-ACT conversion charts to determine eligibility for admission, assess overall college readiness, and award scholarships. Schools can also use these tables for predictive modeling and to compare test scores across particular groups of students.

Frequently Asked Questions About ACT-to-SAT Conversion

What are the limitations with using SAT-to-ACT conversion charts?

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Students can use official SAT-to-ACT conversion charts to see how scores on one test could translate into scores on the other test. However, there are some limitations to these charts.

One major limitation is that the concordance tables are sample-dependent and have been statistically weighted to reflect the students who took one or both exams.

Additionally, the score conversions are not precise and have standard errors. As a result, you cannot use SAT-to-ACT conversion charts to predict with 100% accuracy how you might perform on the other exam.

Can colleges superscore across SAT and ACT tests?

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Both ACT Inc. and the College Board discourage colleges from superscoring across the ACT and SAT. Superscoring is when a school takes the best results from individual test sections, even if they were earned on different test dates.

So even if you scored higher in ACT Math than you did on SAT Math, the school should not combine your ACT Math score with your SAT EBRW score to create one combined SAT/ACT superscore.

According to ACT Inc. and the College Board, superscoring across the two tests "is an imprecise way of understanding whether a student meets a certain academic threshold."

Is the SAT or ACT harder?

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Due to their similarities in structure and content, the SAT and ACT are generally considered comparable in difficulty. Whether the SAT or ACT is harder for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your subject skills, content knowledge, and test-taking preferences.

One easy way you can figure out which test may work better for you is to take an official SAT practice test and an official ACT practice test, and then compare your scores on both. Whichever one you scored higher on will likely be the easier exam for you.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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