Official ACT to SAT (New 1600 and Old 2400) Conversion Charts

 

One of the first thoughts you may have after receiving your ACT or SAT results is how well you would have performed on the other test. Fortunately, SAT to ACT (and ACT to SAT) conversion is possible!

In this post, we provide conversion charts from the test creators to assist you with score conversions between current and previous versions of the SAT and ACT. We also investigate whether certain colleges make the SAT or ACT easier—and what you can do about it.

ACT to SAT Conversion Tool

We used the College Board’s official concordance tables to create a tool that converts your ACT scores to SAT scores automatically.

We’ve even included conversions for both current 1600 and old 2400 SATs. If you took the ACT prior to 2016 and are curious about how your ACT score would have translated into a SAT score when you originally took the ACT, look at the latter.

Simply enter your ACT score on the left to get your SAT results on the right:


Enter your ACT score here:

 

ACT Composite (out of 36)


Get SAT scores here:

 

SAT Composite (out of 1600)

Old SAT Composite (out of 2400)

 

You’ll probably want to compare your ACT and SAT subscores as well. Simply read our guide to converting subscores for more information. Also, if you’re converting to see which test you should take, we recommend reading our guide to see if you’re a good candidate for both the ACT and the SAT.

SAT to ACT Conversion Tool

Do you want to go in the opposite direction? Here are two tools for converting from the current 1600 SAT to the ACT, or from the old 2400 SAT to the ACT.

Although the vast majority of high school students today will have taken the 1600 SAT, if you took the SAT prior to 2016 and are curious about how your scores would have converted to an ACT score (perhaps you’re applying for an educational job or comparing scores with friends), our conversion tool can help.

SAT to ACT Conversion


Enter your SAT score here:

 

SAT (out of 1600)


Get your ACT score here:

 

ACT Composite (out of 36)

 


Old 2400 SAT to ACT Conversion


Enter your Old SAT score here:

 

Old SAT Composite (out of 2400)


Get your ACT score here:

 

ACT Composite (out of 36)

Do you want to raise your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by four points? We’ve created a guide for each test that outlines the top five strategies you must employ in order to improve your score.

 

Why Convert Between the SAT and ACT?

 

Converting from the ACT to the SAT can be extremely beneficial in determining which test you are better at. It is better to concentrate your efforts on just the SAT or ACT to maximize your score rather than attempting to do well on both tests. However, even if you only take one test, knowing how your score translates can help you better understand your performance as well as your chances of admission to various colleges.

For example, by taking SAT and ACT practice tests, you can determine which test you are naturally better at. If you score significantly higher on one test than the other (say, 2 ACT points), you’ll know to study for and take that test instead.

As we’ll see below, ACT-SAT conversion doesn’t always work perfectly in schools. Understanding what converting is and why it is not always permitted at certain schools can help you improve your chances of admission.

Finally, keep in mind that converting composite scores will not provide you with the most accurate data. As a result, you should always convert your section scores as well.

SAT-ACT Conversion Tables

 

The most accurate SAT-ACT concordance tables are provided by the creators of the SAT and ACT (the College Board and ACT, Inc., respectively). These are the only official conversion charts available for converting your ACT score to a SAT score (and vice versa).

Table 1: SAT-ACT Conversion Table


SAT

ACT

SAT

ACT

SAT

ACT

1600
36
1250
26
900
16

1590*
36
1240*
26
890*
16

1580
36
1230
26
880
16

1570
36
1220
25
870
15

1560
35
1210*
25
860
15

1550
35
1200
25
850*
15

1540*
35
1190
24
840
15

1530
35
1180*
24
830
15

1520
34
1170
24
820
14

1510
34
1160
24
810
14

1500*
34
1150
23
800*
14

1490
34
1140*
23
790
14

1480
33
1130
23
780
14

1470
33
1120
22
770
13

1460*
33
1110*
22
760*
13

1450
33
1100
22
750
13

1440
32
1090
21
740
13

1430*
32
1080*
21
730
13

1420
32
1070
21
720
12

1410
31
1060
21
710*
12

1400*
31
1050
20
700
12

1390
31
1040*
20
690
12

1380
30
1030
20
680
11

1370*
30
1020
19
670*
11

1360
30
1010*
19
660
11

1350
29
1000
19
650
11

1340*
29
990
19
640
10

1330
29
980
18
630*
10

1320
28
970*
18
620
10

1310*
28
960
18
610
9

1300
28
950
17
600
9

1290
27
940
17
590*
9

1280*
27
930*
17

1270
27
920
17

1260
27
910
16

*Use this SAT score when comparing single score points.

Note that this is the most recent conversion and is recommended by both the College Board and ACT, Inc. (as opposed to the College Board’s initial concordance from 2016); this chart is what schools will use to compare SAT and ACT scores.

Table 2: Old SAT-ACT Conversion Table

If you want to compare an ACT score to a previous SAT score out of 2400, use the table below. Most readers will want to use the conversion table above because the current version of the SAT has been in effect since 2016.

In other words, use the table below only if you took the ACT or SAT prior to 2016 and want to know how your scores would have translated at the time you took the test.

The following estimates are based on the above table and this SAT composite score conversion chart.


ACT Composite Score

Estimated SAT Composite

Estimated SAT Composite Range
36 2390 2320-2400
35 2260 2320-2310
34 2170 2140-2220
33 2090 2070-2130
32 2040 2020-2060
31 1990 1970-2010
30 1940 1920-1960
29 1890 1870-1910
28 1840 1820-1860
27 1790 1760-1810
26 1730 1710-1750
25 1690 1660-1700
24 1640 1600-1650
23 1580 1560-1590
22 1530 1510-1550
21 1480 1450-1500
20 1420 1400-1440
19 1370 1340-1390
18 1310 1300-1330
17 1260 1240-1290
16 1200 1180-1230
15 1140 1100-1170
14 1060 1020-1090
13 1000 940-1010
12 920 880-930
11 860 840-870
10 820 810-830
9 780 780-800


Which is more difficult, the ACT or the SAT? Find out with our detailed, all-inclusive guide to determining which test is best for you.

Is There an “Easier” Test at Certain Schools?

Now that we’ve learned about the test makers’ SAT-ACT conversion tables, you might think that if you look at admission statistics for various colleges, their SAT and ACT middle 50% ranges will match the official SAT-ACT conversions.

But, before we get into this, what exactly is the “middle 50%”? This phrase refers to the SAT/ACT score ranges for the middle 50% (or 25th to 75th percentile scores) of admitted students at a school. For example, if a school’s ACT middle 50% range is 24 to 28, it means that 25% of admits had an ACT score of 24 or lower, 50% had a score between 24 and 28, and 25% had a score of 28 or higher.

This data is reported by schools because it is a clear way to present the average test score ranges of admitted students. Reporting the entire range of scores would be much less useful because schools may have one or two admits with extremely low test scores, or a few admits with perfect scores. In other words, telling potential applicants that admitted students typically have ACT scores ranging from 16 to 36 isn’t very helpful!

So, do these ACT and SAT ranges correspond to the conversions above? The truth is that at many colleges, the SAT and ACT middle 50% ranges do not exactly match. As a result, to be a competitive applicant at some schools, you’d need to perform slightly better on one test.

We’ll look at some examples below. You can use this information as a guide when researching the schools to which you are applying.

As we go through these examples, you’ll notice how minor the differences are. We are not demonstrating that you can manipulate the system by taking the “easier” test for a specific school. As you can see, the differences are minor in most cases, but they can assist you in aiming for the most competitive target score possible.

NYU

We’ll begin with a well-known East Coast institution. The middle 50% ranges at NYU are as follows:


  • ACT:

    29-34

  • SAT:

    1310-1510

Using Table 1, we can see that ACT composite scores of 29-34 correspond to SAT composite scores of 1330-1520. NYU’s actual SAT range is slightly lower, which means you’d need a significantly higher ACT score to be in the 50 percent range.

Princeton

Consider Princeton as an example of a highly competitive East Coast institution. This school’s SAT and ACT middle 50% ranges are as follows:


  • ACT:

    32-35

  • SAT:

    1440-1570

Table 1 shows that these SAT scores correspond to an ACT score range of 32-36, which is very close to Princeton’s actual ACT score range. So, unlike at NYU, Princeton does not have a slight ACT score advantage.

Penn State

Penn State’s middle 50% ranges are as follows:
ACT:

25-30


  • SAT:

    1160-1360

According to Table 1, these ACT scores correspond to a SAT range of 1200-1380. To be in Penn State’s middle 50 percent, you’d need to score slightly lower on the ACT than you would on the SAT.

University of Washington

Here’s an example from the West Coast. The following are the score ranges for the University of Washington:


  • ACT:

    27-32

  • SAT:

    1200-1460

According to Table 1, UW’s SAT range corresponds to a 25-33 ACT composite. Its actual ACT range, however, is slightly higher, at 27-32.

This means you could get a lower SAT score of 1200 and still be admitted to UW. However, if you had the corresponding ACT score of 24, you would be a little less competitive.

University of Southern California

  • USC is another West Coast example. The following are USC’s SAT and ACT middle 50% ranges:
    ACT:

    30-34

  • SAT:

    1350-1530

Using Table 1, we can convert these ACT scores to SAT scores, yielding a range of 1360-1520. This, as expected, suggests that your ACT score should be slightly higher than your SAT score in order to be competitive at USC.

How To Maximize Your Converted ACT/SAT Score

So, what are we to make of all of this? There are definitely some minor but discernible differences in certain colleges’ SAT and ACT middle 50% ranges when compared to the expected conversions. However, there are numerous exceptions.

Here’s the thing: even in schools where one test appears to be slightly easier, the differences are minor. This means that it’s not a good idea to base your testing strategy solely on whether a school appears to be lenient on ACT or SAT scores. Instead, it’s far better to concentrate on the test that you can improve on in order to maximize your score.

The ACT and SAT ranges in our test cases above did not deviate from expected values by more than 10-40 SAT points or 1-2 ACT composite points. These are minor score differences that can be easily overcome with careful preparation, especially if you take the test that is better suited to your strengths.

For example, suppose you have a higher SAT score but notice that some Ivy League schools are lenient on ACT scores. If you took the ACT and received a 30 when you were capable of scoring between 1450 and 1550 on the SAT, your chances of admission would be reduced.

It’s still a good idea to look up the middle 50% of test score ranges for your target schools. You can even use conversion charts, as we did, to see if the school prefers one test over another. Then, using this information, create your own target score.

For example, if you’re applying to a school that takes the ACT easier, aim for an ACT score in the upper end of their middle 50 range to ensure that you’re still well within their typical ranges even after ACT-SAT conversion.

Remember that the goal of college admissions is to highlight your strengths. Increasing your ACT or SAT score is by far the best advantage you can give yourself when it comes to standardized testing!

What’s Next?

Sure, we’ve argued that neither the SAT nor the ACT provide a significant advantage in college admissions, but is one test easier than the other? Determine whether the SAT or ACT is more difficult. Check out the 11 key differences between the two tests as well to help you decide which one to take.

If you know which test you’ll take, use our SAT or ACT goal score guide to set a target score based on the schools you’re applying to.

Are you curious about what it takes to get a perfect SAT or ACT score? Read our perfect SAT and ACT guides, written by our resident full scorer!

Do you want to raise your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points or more? Download our free guide to the top 5 strategies you need in your prep to dramatically improve your SAT and ACT scores.