Converting ACT Scores to SAT Scores

The ACT and SAT are very different, but you can make a rough conversion

The ACT and SAT test different things, so any score conversion isn't an exact science.
The ACT and SAT test different things, so any score conversion isn't an exact science. Ryan Balderas / E+ / Getty Images

With the table below, you can convert ACT reading and math scores into SAT reading and math scores. The equivalencies were calculated simply by using each score's corresponding percentile. Continue reading below the table for a discussion of these conversion numbers.

Also be sure to read What's a Good SAT Score? and What's a Good ACT Score? These articles will help explain what scores you're likely to need for different types of colleges and universities.

Convert ACT to SAT

SAT RW / ACT EnglishMathematics
SATACT%SATACT%
8003699+8003699+
7903699+7903699+
7803699+7803599
7703699+7703599
7603699+7603499
75035997503398
74035997403398
73035997303297
72034987203297
71034977103196
70033977003095
69033966903094
68032956802993
67031936702992
66031926602891
65030906502890
64029886402789
63028866302787
62027846202685
61026816102683
60025796002681
59024765902579
58024745802576
57023715702473
56023685602471
55022655502368
54022625402365
53021585302261
52021555202157
51020515101952
50020485001847
49019444901844
48018414801740
47017384701736
46016344601732
45016314501629
44015284401625
43015244301623
42014224201520
41014194101517
40013164001515
39012133901513
38011113801410
370119370149
360107360147
35095350135
34093340134
33082330133
32082320132
31071310121
30061300111
29051-290101-
28041-28081-
27041-27061-
26031-26041-
25021-25021-
24011-24011-
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To get some more granular data for the ACT, check out the national norms here on the ACT website. For the SAT, visit the Understanding Your Scores page on the SAT website and click through to the latest percentile rankings for the exam.

Students often want to know what their ACT scores mean when compared to the scores of the SAT (and vice-versa).

Realize that any conversion is just a crude approximation. The SAT has two components: Math and Critical Reading (plus an optional Writing section). The ACT has four components: English Language, Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Science (also with an optional Writing section). Beginning in March of 2016, the content of the exams became a bit more similar as both exams now work to test what students have learned in school (the SAT used to try to measure the students aptitude, the students ability to learn rather than what the student had learned). Nevertheless, when we compare ACT scores to SAT scores, we are, comparing two different things with different types of questions and a different amount of time allowed per question. Even a 36 on the ACT does not equal an 800 on the SAT. The tests are measuring different things, so a perfect score on one exam does not mean the same thing as a perfect score on the other.

If, however, we look at the percentage of students who score below a certain score, we can make an attempt at comparison. For example, on the SAT Math section, 50% of students scored a 500 or lower.

On the ACT Math section the 50% line falls just below a score of 19. Thus, a 19 on the ACT math section is roughly comparable to a 510 on the SAT math section.

In short, the data in the table above should be taken for what it is worth. It is just a quick and crude way to see what SAT and ACT scores fall into similar percentiles.