ACT / SAT Comparison

Comparing Test Content


  ACT - Curriculum-based SAT - Reasoning Test
Test Sections English
Math
Reading
Science
Essay (must choose when registering)
Critical Reading
Math
Writing (multiple choice and essay)
Length 215 questions + optional essay (not really optional)

205 minutes + 30 for essay
170 questions + essay

225 minutes
Content English - 53% grammar/punctuation, 47% rhetorical skills
Math - 55% Algebra, 38% Geometry, 7% Trigonometry
Reading - comprehension
Science - graphs/charts; measures scientific understanding; biology, chemistry, physics, earth science
Essay - 1 composition
Critical Reading - Reasoning skills, Vocabulary
Math - Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Data Analysis/Statistics
Writing M/C - grammar / sentence structure, writing skills

1 - 25 min. section is included which is not scrored, but used for test question evaluation - can be math, reading, or writing multiple choice.
Scoring Scale:  36 points per section
Composite is average of 4 sections.

Earn 1 point for each correct answer.

Essay Scale:  12 points
Scored on a scale of 1-6 by two readers whose score are combined for the total score.
Scale:  800 points per section
Combined Score: 1600 points (sum of Critical Reading + Math)
Combined Score: 2400 points (sum of Critical Reading + Math + Writing)

Earn 1 point for each correct answer.
Lose ¼ point for incorrect multiple choice answers.

Writing Scale:  12 points
Scored on a scale of 1-6 by two readers whose scores are combined for the total score.

Visit the test company websites for further information:
ACT:  www.act.org
SAT:  sat.collegeboard.org

Comparing ACT and SAT Scores


SAT
Critical Reading + Mathematics
(Score Range)
SAT
Critical Reading + Mathematics
(Single Score)
ACT
Composite Score
1600 1600 36
1540-1590 1560 35
1490-1530 1510 34
1440-1480 1460 33
1400-1430 1420 32
1360-1390 1380 31
1330-1350 1340 30
1290-1320 1300 29
1250-1280 1260 28
1210-1240 1220 27
1170-1200 1190 26
1130-1160 1150 25
1090-1120 1110 24
1050-1080 1070 23
1020-1040 1030 22
980-1010 990 21
940-970 950 20
900-930 910 19
860-890 870 18
820-850 830 17
770-810 790 16
720-760 740 15
670-710 690 14
620-660 640 13
560-610 590 12
510-550 530 11
Source:  Concordance between ACT Composite Score and Sum of SAT:
http://www.act.org/aap/concordance/pdf/report.pdf