Old SAT to New SAT Score Conversion Chart
SAT scores are a critical part of the college admissions process. This standardized test is accepted by thousands of colleges and universities across the United States with the goal of comparing the performance of applicants in an objective and measurable way.
To gain a better understanding of how you need to score on the SAT, it’s crucial to understand what the test results mean. If you’ve done some research already, you’ve probably seen mention of “old” and “new” SAT scores. Here, we’ll take a look at the difference along with a detailed old SAT to New SAT score conversion chart to clear up any confusion for applicants.
SAT Score to ACT Score Chart
Before we dive into the specifics of the change between the old and new SAT scoring system, let’s compare the current SAT scoring system with that of the ACT. This is a great way to see how your scores on either standardized test can impact your chances of getting into the college of your choice. Keep in mind that you have a choice between the ACT and SAT when applying to college.
|SAT Total Score||ACT Composite Score|
*This SAT score can be used when you need a single score point comparison.
How Was the SAT Scoring System Changed?
In early 2016, the College Board, the nonprofit behind the SAT exam, decided to make some major changes to the standardized test. In the past, the SAT’s total score was 2400 with each individual section – Math, Writing, & Critical Reading – being out of 800. The new version of the SAT combines the Writing and Critical Reading section into a single part called Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.
There were also three Math sections in the origins SAT exam. These separate sections have also been combined into two Math portions. One section allows students to use a calculator while the other doesn’t. The idea behind this split was to see how students performed both with aid from a calculator and without.
Another major change at the time was making the essay section optional. In the past, it was a required portion of the SAT, and the score factored into a student’s Writing score. Now, it’s completely optional for high schoolers, and the score is provided separately. However, it’s still highly recommended for high schoolers since it’s just another way to stand out from other applicants.
All of these consolidations and removal of sections brought the total score of the SAT down to 1600. Naturally, many students want to know how old and new SAT scores convert. Whether you want to compare an older score within the newer scoring system or you need to update some outdated information online for your research.
Regardless, there are many reasons why you’d need an old SAT to new SAT score conversion. Instead of having to do the complicated math on your own, we’ve compiled an in-depth list comparing all of the possible old SAT scores with those of the new SAT. We’ve even thrown in corresponding ACT scores to take your research even further.
Old SAT to New SAT Score Conversion
|Old SAT Score
|New SAT Score
|ACT Composite Score|
* There’s not enough information to provide a valid comparison for lower scores on the ACT with that of the SAT due to the scoring difference.
How Does My SAT Score Impact My College Application?
Colleges and universities throughout the country have been considering standardized test scores as an integral part of the admissions process for decades. Although many schools temporarily stopped requiring the SAT & ACT for the Class of 2021-2022 due to COVID-19 complications, many are resuming the requirement.
As with any application requirement, the SAT plays a significant role in the final decision of whether or not you’re accepted. While it’s true college admissions officers take a holistic approach – meaning they take a wide variety of factors into account – your SAT score is definitely a major component.
As long as everything else on your application is strong, the higher your SAT score, the better chances you have of getting accepted. The same applies in the opposite direction. The lower your SAT score, the lower your odds of getting admitted. That’s why it’s critical for high schoolers to score as high as possible on the SAT exam.
What’s a Good SAT Score for College?
Overall, an SAT score higher than the 50th percentile – which is the median score – can be viewed as a decent score. In a real sense, this means you’ve outperformed the majority of high schoolers taking the exam. It might sound good to you, but the question is whether or not admissions officers will see it that way.
Most selective colleges won’t see an SAT score close to the 50th percentile as good. Naturally, the more competitive the school, the higher score you’ll need to get considered. The standard for what’s viewed as “good” increases the more selective the school. For example, Ivy League schools have higher expectations for SAT scores than standard public colleges.
Instead of aiming for the 50th percentile, it’s a good idea to set your sights a bit higher to the 75th percentile. This would come out to be 1200 or higher. According to our old SAT to new SAT score conversion chart, that would be 1660 to 1670 on the previous SAT scoring method. No matter which college or university you’re applying to, this would be viewed as a good score.
How to Improve Your SAT Score
1. Start preparing early.
A key strategy to maximizing your SAT score is to start preparing early. Generally, the latest you can take the exam is the fall semester of your senior year as college application deadlines come soon after. While you technically have up until that point to prepare for the SAT, we advise students to take the test earlier.
Ideally, high schoolers can take the SAT for the first time during their sophomore year and once again during their junior year. This gives you two opportunities to get your desired score while still having an additional opportunity your senior year if you need it. In this timeline, you’d have to start preparing for the SAT at least at the beginning of your freshman year.
The more preparation you have before the SAT, the better chance you have of scoring in that coveted 75th-percentile.
2. Practice with previously administered tests.
Preparing for the SAT requires a multi-faceted approach that focuses on a wide range of elements including the material on the exam, the subjects covered, and the time limit provided among other factors. But no preparation would be complete without exploring some content from previous exams.
That’s right! There are official SAT exams that have been previously administered available for students to practice with. These exams give you an accurate idea of what you can expect to see on the SAT while giving you the perfect opportunity to have a practice run at taking the exam with a time limit.
These published SAT exams can be found online or in some published books. There are also plenty of sample tests and example questions that resemble what’s found in the SAT without having actually been published in the past. These are also helpful.
3. Take the test more than once.
It might come as a surprise to you, but there’s no limit to the number of times you can take the SAT. The same is true for the ACT too. Before you start planning to take the SAT over and over and over again until you end up with a satisfactory score, there are some important caveats to take into consideration.
First and foremost, there’s a non-refundable fee for the SAT that’s due every time you take the exam. It might not sound like a lot for a single exam, but it quickly adds up over time the more you take it.
Another reason to avoid taking the SAT too many times is that it looks bad on your application. Admission officers see too many attempts as a sign that you’re underprepared.
But these caveats don’t mean there’s not a sweet spot to be found when trying to optimize your score by taking the SAT more than once. We typically advise students to only take the test three to four times. This gives you three to four times to maximize your score without reflecting poorly on your application.
4. Work with a college entrance expert.
One of the most effective ways to optimize your SAT score is to work with a highly experienced college entrance expert like AdmissionSight. For years, we’ve been helping students successfully prepare for standardized tests with the end goal of improving their application overall.
We’re well-versed in SAT exams, what the College Board puts on their tests, and how you can improve your ability to take the SAT. We’ll help you gain a better understanding of what to expect on the test and give you the tools you need to tackle the material without any issues. If you’re interested in SAT and ACT tutoring, AdmissionSight can help!
Need a Hand Getting Into Your Dream School?
It’s common for high schoolers to feel stressed, confused, and even a bit scared about the college application process. After all, you’ve worked for years to get to this point with a lot riding on your efforts. But how can you make sure you have the best chance of getting accepted into your dream college? By working with a college entrance expert, of course!
AdmissionSight is a college admission specialist with over a decade of experience helping students just like you put their best foot forward when applying to college. We have a proven track record of success with 75% of the students we work with getting accepted into a Top 10 University or Ivy League school. How do we do it?
We offer a wide range of services designed to help students improve all aspects of their application to greatly increase their chances of getting admitted. For example, we help students choose the best high school courses, select the ideal extracurricular activities, write excellent college essays, and much, much more.
We’ve already helped hundreds of students get accepted into the school of their dreams, and we’d love to do the same for you. Feel free to contact us to set up a free consultation. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and explain how we can help you achieve your goals.