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Chris Swimmer

SAT-ACT Score Conversion

Now that all US colleges are finally both SAT and ACT friendly (yeah, it took a while), many students find themselves quite torn over not only which test to take, but more fundamentally how to even compare two such disparate tests. Well admittedly it’s a bit complicated as the scores are calculated based on different parts of different tests. Below you’ll find the concordance chart that seems to be agreed upon by both ACT and College Board.

SAT/ACT Score Conversion Chart

ACT Composite Score SAT Critical Reasoning and Math ACT English/Writing Score SAT Writing
36 1600 36 800
35 1560 35 800
34 1510 34 770
33 1460 33 740
32 1420 32 720
31 1380 31 690
30 1340 30 670
29 1300 29 650
28 1260 28 630
27 1220 27 610
26 1190 26 590
25 1150 25 570
24 1110 24 550
23 1070 23 530
22 1030 22 510
21 990 21 490
20 950 20 470
19 910 19 450
18 870 18 430
17 830 17 420
16 790 16 400
15 740 15 380
14 690 14 360
13 640 13 340
12 590 12 330
11 530 11 310


So hopefully that clarifies any confusion you may have when converting SAT scores to ACT scores.

This is essentially the same table that all the schools you’re applying to will look at when they receive your scores. In the not-so-distant past, these concordance charts didn’t exactly mean much because the schools seemed to be biased geographically toward one test or another.


Luckily for you and all future applicants, that ACT/SAT bias has faded for the most part and now tests are looked upon about as evenly as two different tests can be. So that means you’re pretty solid footing, and the only thing left to decide is which test plays to your strengths. Choosing the right test for you can be a make-it-or-break-it decision and I don’t think you should take it lightly.

There’s a lot to consider when making that nerve-wracking decision, and if you’re stuck, I recommend you check out the following blog to help you out: SAT vs ACT. Of course, if you’ve got the time and resources, you can always take both. :)

In fact, many students find that, after taking both tests and using the SAT/ACT score conversion chart, their scores are approximately the same on both tests. Go figure.

About Chris Swimmer

Chris Swimmer is an analyst at Magoosh who divides his time between marketing and research projects and helping folks out with their math hang ups while studying for the GRE and the GMAT. Follow him on Google+! And you can follow him @chrisrswimmer on Twitter.

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