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ACT to SAT Conversion

Updated on May 20, 2010

Convert ACT to SAT Score

There is no exact conversion of ACT and SAT scores because they do not test the same areas or the same number of tests. The SAT does only Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Writing, without a science portion like on the ACT test.

Nevertheless, we can look at the high end, low end, and average scores for both tests. (The SAT is for one of the three tests).

High Scores (91-100%)- SAT 650-800; ACT 30-36

Average Scores (50%)- SAT 500; ACT 20

Low Scores (1-10%)- SAT 260-350; 8-13

A score of 100% is 2280-2400 for the SAT and 34-36 for the ACT.


What ACT Score Do You Need?

Universities want to admit students who get an adequate ACT or SAT score because the average score of their students is made public and plays into the prestige of the school.

So what kind of ACT score is enough? The highest possible score is 36. The average composite score is 20. Schools are definitely looking for something in the top 50%, over above 20. The average ACT scor in 2009 was 21.1 according to the ACT Profile Report. Some expect 25 or higher. There are four different secitons of the ACT that make up your composite score: Mathematics, English Language, Reading, and Science.

Function of the ACT Test

 Every College in the United States recognizes the ACT exam as a great predictor of what kind of student you will be. It is designed to find out if you are "ready" for college or not. The test is supposed to predict whether you will be able to sustain an adequate freshman GPA in the different types of courses that will be offered to first year students, such as English 101 and Biology 101.

Although the ACT is not the only factor in the college admissions process, students who can score well above the average of 21.1 have an advantage. Ranking in the top 75 percentile is very helpful. You can rank there by getting 24.1 going to public colleges and 25.3 at private colleges.

More and more schools are using the ACT test instead of the SAT. The only part of the country really emphasizing the SAT these days is the west coast. The midwest and eastern US are using the test extensively, and some states, like Wyoming, are actually requiring high school students to take the ACT test.

Which College Entrance Exam Did You Take?

See results

Less Time with the ACT Questions

The SAT gives you about one minute per question. But the ACT gives you a bit less time.

  • 45 minutes for a 60-question English section
  • 60 minutes for a 60-question Math section
  • 35 minutes for a 40-question Reading Comprehension section
  • 35 minutes for a 40-question Science section


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      briangabriel 7 years ago from WA

      Glad you found this useful!

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      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific great detailed hub read write thanks