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# Are ACT scores equivalent to higher SAT scores than you think?

Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
edited April 2012
OK, so I've been using the chart on wikipedia. At first I thought the chart was incredibly generous, then thought it was pretty accurate and now think that it may even be harsher on the ACT than it should be.

Basically, I got a 32, so that is really the only score I have done any sort of analysis of.

So scores 32 -->36 are all on the 99th percentile.

According to Collegeboard, here the lowest score on the 99th percentile is a 2200. Obviously, it goes without saying that that is on the higher side of the score ranges on the wikipedia chart (2160-2210).

Next I went to princetonreview.com and looked at the published SAT 25-75% scores to see if they were consistently concurrent with the 25-75% for ACT scores. I went looking for schools with 25-75% scores between 28-32, so I wouldn't have to extrapolate a 27-31 or something to a 32; that seems like it could skew the data a little bit.

Johns Hopkins: SAT range: 1960-2240, ACT Range: 28-32...does this not mean that to Johns Hopkins admissions people a score of 32 on the ACT is equal to around a 2240?
Wesleyan University: SAT range: 1980-2230, ACT Range: 28-32.........does a 32 ACT=2240 SAT?
University of Southern California: SAT range: 1940-2190, ACT range: 28-32.........32 ACT=2190 SAT?
Cornell University:SAT range: 1950-2230, ACT Range: 28-32..........32 ACT=2230 SAT?
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: SAT range: 2100-2330, ACT range:30-34.........32 ACT=2215 SAT?

...and there are many, many more. Even at schools were the ACT is presumably the more prevalent of the tests.

University of Michigan: SAT range: 1850-2140, ACT range: 27-31.....32 on the ACT= (2140/31) *32 ==2209?? Again, that process probably leads to inaccuracy, but it's the best I know how to do.
Tulane University : SAT range: 1890-2165, ACT range: 27-31......32 ACT==2234??
University of Wisconsin: SAT range: 1790-2080, ACT range: 26-30......32 is equal to 2218??
(Probably some better examples for this category, but I'm tired and I'm sure the point has been proven as well as I can prove it)

Anyway, it seems as if all the SAT/ACT concurrence data is based off of the Collegeboard table that was compiled from information gathered between 1994 and 1996. That was over a decade ago and the test has changed significantly since then. Not only that, but wouldn't collegeboard have an agenda in getting people to think they did better on the SAT than they actually did in order to get them to send more score reports for \$10 a piece? That's probably a bit beyond the realm of believability, but I digress.

The best I can figure is that a 32 is equivalent to at least a 2210 or so. It could just be wishful thinking, but the stats seem to be there to back this up. If not, please tell me where and why I'm wrong.
Post edited by jyawesome on
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## Replies to: Are ACT scores equivalent to higher SAT scores than you think?

• Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
Well, if it helps to prove your theory, I actually got a 2210 SAT and 32 ACT, so I think you're exactly right.

The chart on Princeton Review seems to be harsh on the ACT.
• Registered User Posts: 1,504 Senior Member
The flaw in your reasoning is that the students who take the ACT are, on average, quite different from those who take the SAT. Most Act takers are from the Midwest, whereas kids from really competitive high schools tend to take the SAT. Requirements are less stringent for smart kids who come from the middle of nowhere, and fewer students get the really high scores. Therefore you're going to see a difference in 25-75% ranges for SAT and ACT, and you can't compare them as equals.
• Registered User Posts: 4,782 Senior Member
I got a 1670 on the SAT and a 28 on the ACT. ACT ftw!
• Registered User Posts: 1,594 Senior Member
"The flaw in your reasoning is that the students who take the ACT are, on average, quite different from those who take the SAT. Most Act takers are from the Midwest, whereas kids from really competitive high schools tend to take the SAT. Requirements are less stringent for smart kids who come from the middle of nowhere, and fewer students get the really high scores. Therefore you're going to see a difference in 25-75% ranges for SAT and ACT, and you can't compare them as equals."

Perhaps this was true at one time but many kids from competitive schools are now taking both and sending their highest scores. This is especially true now that all schools will accept either the SAT or the ACT.
• Registered User Posts: 1,580 Senior Member
i don't quite grasp the logic. so ACT 25%-75% scores are "too high." so people who took the SAT "somehow got in easier," so doesn't that mean that SAT takers are the ones from the middle of nowhere? but that's contrary to the fact that the midwest is still predominately ACT.
dntw8up you are correct but there is still an apparant difference geographically. i live in Ohio and all my friends take the ACT. just about ALL of them. and the funny thing is, when they took the PSAT they totally sucked really really bad, and then they take the ACT and they get like >30. personally i never tooko the ACT.
also, that chart is the same chart found everywhere... princeton review, collegeboard, certain individual university's websites.
• Registered User Posts: 2,768 Senior Member
no. the chart is right. But you should use the chart out of 1600 anyway and remember that a 32 ACT is the same as a 31.5-32.25
• Registered User Posts: 842 Member
This is a pretty interesting theory, but I gotta agree with tyler.
• Registered User Posts: 444 Member
Also remember 32-33 are rounded up 99th percentiles. 34-36 are actually higher than the 99th percentile.
• Registered User Posts: 555 Member
So, with all of this in mind, what's a good comparison chart link?

Also, what would a 33 composite be equal to on the 2400 SAT scale?
• Registered User Posts: 2,768 Senior Member
around a 2200 or 1470-1520
• Registered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
I agree with OP////if you look at percentiles......act is higher when converting that many sources post.
• - Posts: 633 Member
Im totally confused by the OP's post....its too long and so many numbers!
• Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
I got a 2210 on the SAT and a 31 on the ACT (without writing), if that helps. The science always brought my score down.
• Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
The problem with ACT/SAT comparisons is pretty obvious - the SAT score is out of 2400 and the ACT is out of 36. The top scorers of the SAT might have some pretty drastic differences in their scores - some schools might have top scorers at 2300, some 2400, who knows? But the top scorers for the ACT will always be 35s and 36s. There's less room for variance simply because it's out of a smaller number.
• Registered User Posts: 2,770 Senior Member
34 ACT
2270 SAT

Make of that what u want.
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This discussion has been closed.