ACT SAT Conversion

How are ACT and SAT Scores Compared?

ACT exam and SAT exam are two standardized tests necessary to gain admission in colleges or universities in the United States of America. Both examinations test the skills and abilities of applicants in content matter learnt as part of high school curriculum as well as reasoning and problem solving skills. The scores of these examinations, play an important role in the admissions process as a high score helps to increase the chances of admission to colleges and universities. Though, these are examinations for gaining admission to college, they are different from each other in many ways. However, both examinations scores can be compared using ACT SAT conversion tables.

Difference between SAT and ACT

SAT consists of three sections namely, Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. ACT consists of four sections, English, Reading, Mathematics and Science. There is an essay section here, which is optional. It is more straightforward in comparison to SAT as the questions are easier to understand. SAT requires a better vocabulary than ACT does. The Mathematics section of this exam tests more advanced concepts than the Mathematics sections of SAT. For example, it tests skills in trigonometry as opposed to SAT. However, it has been observed that many students find the questions in ACT Mathematics section more straightforward than those of SAT. To know about score conversion, it is important to know about the scoring methods of these tests.

SAT Scores

In SAT, each section is marked between the range of 200 – 800 points. The total score is reported as the cumulative scores of all the sections. Thus, the maximum score is 2400.

ACT Scores

One ACT score between 1 and 36 is gained on each of the English, Math, Reading, and Science tests. The score is the average of the 4 sections tested. For example, if a test taker scored 29 in English, 30 in Mathematics, 31in Reading, and 30 in Science Test, the composite or average score can be calculated to be 30. Thus, the perfect marks is 36. In case, the Writing Test is taken, the score report would contain separate sub-score for the Writing test and a combined English and Writing score.

ACT SAT Conversion:\

Comparing the scores of both the exams is possible. However, the conversion is not accurate but merely an approximation. They are two different tests with different types of questions, content, test and scoring patterns, it is difficult to predict what score a test taker can get in one test based solely on his or her performance in the other. ACT and the College Board have jointly finished a study to determine the relationship between the two scores, the comparison parameters and concordance tables to be used when comparing the both exams scores. The study came up with concordance tables that reflected data from a group of students who had taken both tests. As SAT has more score points than the other, it is more accurate to adjust a range of SAT scores to a single ACT score. However, as most college admissions processes require a single SAT score point to compare with each ACT point, the concordance tables have been designed to provide the most accurate estimate for conversion.

The concordance tables are merely a tool to find comparable scores between them and do not equate scores. The concordances tables help to compare scores between ACT Composite Score and Sum of Critical Reading and Mathematics Sections of SAT. Concordance tables also compare between the ACT Combined English/Writing Score and SAT Writing Score.Concordance tables can be found at: and at: The concordance tables provide an idea of the conversion.