ACT to SAT Conversion Chart Guide for Score Comparison

January 22, 2024
3 min read

Wondering about ACT to SAT conversion but don’t know where to start? Keep reading to find out how to convert your scores!

Writing standardized tests like the SAT or ACT has been a defining feature of college applications in America for several decades now. Students have the opportunity to show their capabilities in a way that can be more accurately compared with other applicants. 

So, what happens when you want to compare an SAT score to an ACT score? Obviously, the two tests use different scales. The ACT is out of 36, while SAT scores can range from 400-1600. This can create a bit of confusion; students are often unsure how exactly one score can be measured against the other.

Fortunately, there’s a way to get an accurate representation of where each score should roughly be when converted to the other scale. Although ACT to SAT conversion isn’t perfect, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a baseline to get a general idea of where you stand should you write the other test.

Without further delay, let’s get into how you can convert your ACT and SAT scores. 

ACT to SAT Score Conversion Table

When comparing scores, always keep in mind that the ACT and SAT are different tests that assess unique areas of knowledge. The ACT is more focused on testing material that is closely aligned with your high school courses. On the other hand, the SAT addresses general aspects of verbal as well as quantitative reasoning.

ACT Composite Score SAT Score Range
36 1600
35 1540-1590
34 1490-1530
33 1440-1480
32 1400-1430
31 1360-1390
30 1330-1350
29 1290-1320
28 1250-1280
27 1210-1240
26 1170-1200
25 1130-1160
24 1090-1120
23 1050-1080
22 1020-1040
21 980-1010
20 940-970
19 900-930
18 860-890
17 820-850
16 770-810
15 720-760
14 670-710
13 620-660
12 560-610
11 510-550

Source: ACT

Since your final SAT score can’t be lower than 400, the table doesn’t extend to the full range of scores.

How to Interpret ACT to SAT Conversion Table

As you can see from the table above, the range for SAT scores is quite large and doesn’t change in consistent increments. This is because it’s difficult to get exact conversions for tests that assess different areas of knowledge and have very different scales. Nonetheless, the chart gives you an idea of how scores can compare.

It’s important to remember that conversion, SAT to ACT scores, is not all defining. Just because you have a certain score on one test doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to score the equivalent on the other test. Performing well on the ACT and SAT is a matter of hard work and commitment, and preparing for one isn't a substitute for the other.

When using an ACT to SAT converter, try to use an SAT score that’s roughly in the middle of the range provided. This ensures that you don’t overestimate or underestimate your score when changing from the ACT to the SAT scale. You’ll find that even though the ACT and SAT are distinct tests, you can get accurate comparisons.

student using calculator

Should I Write the ACT or SAT?

When deciding if you should write the ACT or the SAT, it’s a good idea to consider your strengths and weaknesses. The ACT is unique from the SAT in that it has a science section and tests trigonometry knowledge. In contrast, the SAT has a mandatory writing section. Furthermore, the SAT discourages guessing, unlike the ACT.

Both tests will take you around the same amount of time, even though they have a different total number of questions. While the ACT contains 215 questions, the SAT only has 154. Keep in mind that these questions can take longer to answer, so the SAT isn’t easier by any means.

Students who excel in science should have an advantage with the ACT. If you find you prefer reasoning your way out of problems instead of memorizing answers beforehand, you may be more suited to the SAT. At any rate, you’ll still have to study and go through problem sets to prepare, so trying out a few can help you decide which is better.

Should you take the ACT or SAT, or maybe both? Find out with our free quiz below!


Still have questions about ACT to SAT conversion? Check out our expert answers below for more information!

1. What Is a 20 ACT Score in SAT?

A 20 ACT score translates to a 940-970 score on the SAT.

2. What Is a 30 on the ACT in SAT?

A 30 ACT converts to an SAT score of 1330-1350.

3. Is a 35 ACT Better Than a 1550 SAT?

A 1550 SAT score is on the lower end of the 35 ACT range equivalent: 1540-1590.

4. Is 27 a Good ACT Score?

A 27 is a great ACT score, as it is well above the 19.8 national average.


ACT to SAT conversion can sometimes be a tricky concept for students. When you’re provided with two completely different scales, it’s easy to get confused. Making sure to take a score that’s in the middle of the SAT range provided means you’ll have more accurate comparisons.

If you’re considering writing the ACT or SAT, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of each test. The knowledge base required for each one is somewhat different, so when you’re preparing you should try to think of where you feel you’d perform best. This way, when it comes time to apply for college, you’ll have the best possible score to submit.

Countless students are inundated with studying for the ACT and SAT. If you’re struggling and feel you need extra help, you should never hesitate to book a free consultation with our ACT and SAT experts. With a bit of hard work and practice, you’ll have a stellar score in no time.

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