(3) SAT Reasoning Test/ACT Conversion Table

What is ACT and how is it different from the SAT Reasoning Test?

Both the SAT Reasoning Test and ACT are standardized tests used by most four-year colleges as a part of the college admission process. Both the SAT Reasoning Test and ACT contain questions in math, reading comprehension, grammar, and essay writing. The ACT also has an additional science section.

 

SAT Reasoning Test

ACT

Content

  • Critical Reading (sentence completion, short and long passages)
  • Math (through Algebra 2)
  • Writing (essay and grammar)
  • Reading (long passages only)
  • Math (through Trigonometry)
  • English (grammar)
  • Science
  • Writing (essay) (Note: While the Writing test is optional, many four year colleges require the Writing test)

Test Length

3 hours and 45 minutes

3 hours and 25 minutes (including the 30-minute Writing test)

Score

  • Three subscores of 200-800 (each in Critical Reading, Math, and Writing)
  • Maximum Score of 2400 (sum of the three subscores)
  • Essay score is included in the Writing subscore
  • Four test scores of 1-36 (each in Reading, Math, English, and Science)
  • Maximum Composite score of 36 (average of the four test scores)
  • Writing (essay) score is represented as a Combined English/Writing test score on a scale of 1-36

Other Differences Between the SAT and ACT

  • Offered seven times in the school year from early October through early June
  • Multiple choice questions contain five answer choices
  • ¼ deduction for wrong answers for multiple choice questions
  • Offered six times in the school year from mid-September through mid-June
  • Multiple choice questions contain four answer choices
  • No deduction for wrong answers


The following conversion table provided by the College Board and the ACT provides the best possible estimated comparison of the two standardized test scores. 

  • The Composite ACT plus Writing score includes four subscores (Reading, English, Math and Science) and a Writing subscore. ACT test scores and the Composite score range from 1 to 36; subscores range from 1 to 18. The Composite score is the average of the four subject area tests' scores. However, subscores do not necessarily add up to the score for a subject area test. 
  • The total SAT total is the sum of the three separate test scores for Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

    ACT Composite

    Score

    SAT CR+M+W

    Score

     

    ACT Composite

    Score

    SAT CR+M+W

    Score

    36

    2400

     

    23

    1600

    35

    2360

     

    22

    1540

    34

    2280

     

    21

    1480

    33

    2200

     

    20

    1420

    32

    2140

     

    19

    1360

    31

    2070

     

    18

    1300

    30

    2010

     

    17

    1250

    29

    1950

     

    16

    1190

    28

    1890

     

    15

    1120

    27

    1830

     

    14

    1050

    26

    1780

     

    13

    980

    25

    1720

     

    12

    920

    24

    1660

     

    11

    840


      

 

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