ACT to SAT Conversion

Posted by Ben Flores on Wednesday, January 25, 2017
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ben Flores

Ben is a member of the Learning Team at Testive, where he works to improve our learning outcomes through supporting coaches and developing curricula. After attending college at Yale University, Ben earned his M.Ed in Boston and taught elementary school before joining Testive as a Coach.

One of the questions we most commonly hear from students who have taken either the PSAT, the SAT, or the ACT (or even just a practice test for one of these tests) is “what would my score be on the [other test]?” I.e. How do I do an ACT to SAT conversion?

To answer this question, you'll need to convert your score.

We’ll take a look at why you would want to perform an ACT to SAT conversion, how to do it, and what you can do with your converted scores when you are looking at prospective colleges.

Why Would You Want To Convert Between SAT and ACT Scores?

People have various reasons for wanting to know how they would do on the “opposite test.” They generally boil down to a variation on one of these three (closely related) reasons:

1. You are thinking about taking the other test and you want to know how you would need to score for it to be worth it

2. You have already taken both tests (or practice tests) and you want to know which of your scores is better

3. You have specific colleges in mind and you want to know how your score on one test matches up with their score range on the other test

Regardless of which of these reasons applies to you, figuring out ACT to SAT conversion will probably be most useful if you are still at the practice test / preparation stage of your admissions test journey. This way you can use the information you discover to help guide you in the process.

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SAT to ACT Conversion Tables

If you’d like to convert an SAT score to an ACT score, use the following table (by the way, throughout this article, we are referring to the “new” SAT on the 1600 scale simply as the “SAT,” and we will refer to the old, 2400-scale SAT as the “old SAT”). If you'd like to do an ACT to SAT conversion, we have another table further down. This table was created by the College Board without the participation of the ACT, but it is likely to be pretty accurate.

Simply find your SAT score, and match it up with the converted ACT score one column to the right, in the same row.

New SAT ACT New SAT ACT New SAT ACT
1600 36 1250 26 900 17
1590 35 1240 26 890 16
1580 35 1230 25 880 16
1570 35 1220 25 870 16
1560 35 1210 25 860 16
1550 34 1200 25 850 15
1540 34 1190 24 840 15
1530 34 1180 24 830 15
1520 34 1170 24 820 15
1510 33 1160 24 810 15
1500 33 1150 23 800 14
1490 33 1140 23 790 14
1480 32 1130 23 780 14
1470 32 1120 22 770 14
1460 32 1110 22 760 14
1450 32 1100 22 750 13
1440 31 1090 21 740 13
1430 31 1080 21 730 13
1420 31 1070 21 720 13
1410 30 1060 21 710 12
1400 30 1050 20 700 12
1390 30 1040 20 690 12
1380 29 1030 20 680 12
1370 29 1020 20 670 12
1360 29 1010 19 660 12
1350 29 1000 19 650 12
1340 28 990 19 640 12
1330 28 980 19 630 12
1320 28 970 18 620 11
1310 28 960 18 610 11
1300 27 950 18 600 11
1300 27 940 18 590 11
1280 27 930 17 580 11
1270 26 920 17 570 11
1260 26 910 17 560 11
Click here to learn how Testive can help raise your student's SAT score.

ACT to SAT Conversion

If you have a score from an ACT test date that you’d like to convert to an SAT score, you can use the following table to do an ACT to SAT conversion, also from the College Board. Find your ACT score, then match it up with the SAT score one column to the right, in the same row.

ACT New SAT ACT New SAT ACT New SAT
36 1600 27 1290 18 950
35 1570 26 1260 17 910
34 1540 25 1220 16 870
33 1500 24 1180 15 830
32 1470 23 1140 14 780
31 1430 22 1110 13 740
30 1400 21 1070 12 680
29 1360 20 1030 11 590
28 1320 19 990
Click here to learn how Testive can help raise your student's ACT score.

What About Colleges That Haven’t Published “New” SAT Score Ranges Yet?

If you’re at the point in your college search where you’re looking at the score ranges for students admitted at various colleges, you may have noticed that many colleges have not yet released any information regarding 1600-scale SAT scores, as this “new” test was released in Spring of 2016. Therefore, to do an ACT to SAT conversion, you may want to convert your SAT or ACT score to an “old” 2400-scale SAT score to compare against college figures.

You can convert your ACT score to an “old” SAT score using the following table, published by the ACT:

ACT Composite Score Estimated SAT Composite Estimated SAT Composite Range
36 2390 2380–2400
35 2330 2290–2370
34 2250 2220–2280
33 2180 2140–2210
32 2120 2080–2130
31 2060 2020–2070
30 2000 1980–2010
29 1940 1920–1970
28 1880 1860–1910
27 1820 1800–1850
26 1770 1740–1790
25 1710 1680–1730
24 1650 1620–1670
23 1590 1560–1610
22 1530 1510–1550
21 1470 1450–1500
20 1410 1390–1440
19 1350 1330–1380
18 1290 1270–1320
17 1230 1210–1260
16 1170 1140–1200
15 1100 1060–1130
14 1020 990–1050
13 950 910–980
12 870 820–900
11 780 750–810

If you’d like to convert your SAT score on the 1600-scale to an “old” SAT score on the 2400-scale, you can use this table, published by the College Board:

New SAT Old SAT New SAT Old SAT New SAT Old SAT
1600 2390 1200 1670 800 1060
1590 2370 1190 1650 790 1040
1580 2350 1180 1640 780 1030
1570 2330 1170 1620 770 1010
1560 2300 1160 1610 760 990
1550 2280 1150 1590 750 980
1540 2260 1140 1570 740 960
1530 2230 1130 1560 730 950
1520 2210 1120 1540 720 930
1510 2190 1110 1530 710 910
1500 2170 1100 1510 700 900
1490 2150 1090 1490 690 880
1480 2130 1080 1480 680 870
1470 2110 1070 1460 670 860
1460 2090 1060 1450 660 850
1450 2080 1050 1430 650 840
1440 2060 1040 1420 640 830
1430 2040 1030 1400 630 820
1420 2020 1020 1390 620 810
1410 2000 1010 1370 610 800
1400 1990 1000 1360 600 790
1390 1970 990 1340 590 780
1380 1950 980 1330 580 770
1370 1930 970 1310 570 760
1360 1920 960 1300 560 750
1350 1900 950 1280 550 740
1340 1880 940 1270 540 730
1330 1870 930 1250 530 730
1320 1850 920 1240 520 720
1310 1840 910 1220 510 710
1300 1820 900 1210 500 700
1290 1810 890 1200 490 690
1280 1790 880 1180 480 680
1270 1780 870 1170 470 670
1260 1760 860 1150 460 660
1250 1750 850 1140 450 650
1240 1730 840 1120 440 640
1230 1710 830 1110 430 630
1220 1700 820 1090 420 620
1210 1680 810 1070 410 610
400 600

How To Convert Between SAT and ACT Scores

As we wrote in the introduction, you can’t determine exactly how you’d do on the SAT if you took the ACT, or the ACT if you took the SAT.

So, what can you do?

You can use conversion data from the makers of the SAT and the ACT to do an ACT to SAT conversion to determine how your score would rank if it were converted to a score on the opposite test.

These test publishers collect massive amounts of data regarding the scores of hundreds, thousands, millions of students on their respective admissions tests. They break all of these scores into percentiles, which show how many students score each different possible score.

You’ve probably seen this before - if you score 1190 on the SAT, for example, this is a 71st percentile score. That means 71% of all students who take the SAT scored less than 1190, and 29% scored higher. The ACT releases percentile charts showing the same breakdown of information for their test.

The College Board takes these calculations a step further, and produces a series of tables called “concordance tables,” which are designed for ACT to SAT conversion and vice versa. It is a tiny bit complicated, but they basically compare scores that would be at the same percentile on both tests, so you know that if you scored at, say, the 80th percentile on the SAT, you can see which score would put you at the same percentile on the ACT, and that is your “converted” score.

As we have already said, these tables are not designed to show exactly how any individual student would do applying their personal skills to both tests, because we can’t really know based on your score on one test whether or not you might naturally be more suited to performing better or worse on the other test.

What Are Your Next Steps?

Now that you’ve converted your score from ACT to SAT, or from SAT to ACT, or from ACT to “old” SAT, or from - well, you get the picture - what do you do with the information? There is no need to convert your scores if it doesn’t lead to a decision as to what kind of action to take.

The main decision you are likely to make is whether or not to take the test you have not yet taken. You may decide, for example, after an ACT SAT conversion, that you could actually score higher on the ACT than your converted score. In this case, your first step should probably be to take a practice test or seek advice about proceeding with prep for the new test.

On the other hand, after seeing your converted scores, you may not believe that you could do better on the test you haven’t taken, but decide that your current scores aren’t as competitive as you’d like them to be. In this case, you’ll want to look into your options for improving your score on the test to which you have already devoted your energy.

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