SAT Scores Compared To ACT Scores?

I want to know what my son's ACT score means when compared to the score of the SAT. I know that any conversion is just a crude approximation.
But I want just a rough approximation.
The SAT has three components: Math, Critical Reading and Writing. The ACT has four components: English Language, Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Science.
So the comparison between ACT scores to SAT scores is comparing apples and oranges.
How can I make the conversion correctly?

asked by Gray in Universities | 7630 views | 10-29-2009 at 01:00 PM

How the SAT and ACT Are Scored

Before you begin interpreting SAT scores and ACT scores, understand that the scoring systems are quite different. The SAT has three sections (reading comprehension, math and writing / essay), each of which are worth up to 800 points, so a perfect score is 2400.

The ACT has four sections (English, math, reading comprehension and science, with an optional essay section). The scores are averaged after theyíre tabulated, so a perfect ACT score is 36.

Interpreting SAT and ACT Scores: What is a Perfect Score?

Donít beat yourself up if you donít get a perfect score! Only about one in every 10,000 students achieves an SAT score of 2400, while about one in 4,000 test-takers gets a 36 ACT score.

Most top American colleges (Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, etc.) are looking for scores above the 90th percentile, or the top 10% of all that yearís test-takers. For the SAT, that generally means 2100 or above. The 90th percentile for ACT scores is about a 28 or above.

While a less-than-perfect score doesnít mean you wonít get into the top colleges and universities in America, a perfect score doesnít mean you will. The admissions committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has actually wait-listed or deferred a few applicants who have gotten perfect test scores, and itís likely that other schools have as well.

Comparison chart:

answered by Clown | 10-29-2009 at 01:06 PM

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