New SAT results and concordances are in! But what do they mean? How have scores changed from the old SAT? And how can scores help students determine whether the SAT or ACT should be favored?
Compass has analyzed available research and concordances to create a comparison tool in both chart and table forms below (or access the PDF for easy distribution). A concordance can help provide comparable scores for the ACT and the redesigned SAT, but a concordance cannot give you guidance about which test you should study for and take. Although many students will find that their SAT and ACT scores intersect somewhere in the gray “Judgment Call” band, some may discover that one test is actually better suited to their skills.
The release of March SAT scores and the publication of New SAT concordance tables means that students are armed with more information about the respective merits of the SAT and ACT. Sometimes there are specific reasons why a student prefers one test over another: National Merit requirements, scheduling needs, or a strong negative reaction to a previous testing experience. For most students, however, the question comes down to “where is my time best spent?” Three common situations are:
- You took the old SAT in January 2016 or earlier and want to know if you are “done.” The concordance tables can help you see where your old SAT score stacks up in comparison to the new SAT and to the ACT. Since retaking an old SAT is not an option, you will need to decide on a path forward if you are not satisfied with your scores. The old SAT and redesigned SAT are completely different tests, so you should not favor the New SAT simply because of experience on the old exam. Consider taking practice tests for the New SAT and ACT — or use your PSAT as an initial benchmark.
- You took the New PSAT and have taken a practice or real ACT. You can use the tables provided on our PSAT post. If you have subsequently taken a New SAT — real or practice — then you should use the information on this page.
- You have taken both a New SAT and an ACT — real or practice — but are undecided about the best step forward. Use the chart above and tables below to inform your decision.
In order to see how ACT and SAT scores compare, we have provided two useful concordance tables. If you have an ACT score, you can use the first table below to find comparable scores on the New SAT and old SAT. If you have taken the New SAT, the second table gives you a score-by-score comparison with the old SAT and ACT. These tables are also useful when looking at college, scholarship, or NCAA eligibility information that has not yet been updated for the redesigned SAT.