Even though the ACT has taken over market share from the SAT, many parents and teachers are still not comfortable with interpreting ACT results. The people who design these tests know this, and you can google “ACT-SAT Concordance” to get a full print out of how to understand SAT and ACT scores in a relative way. For starters, the easiest way to think about it is to know that an ACT score of 36 corresponds to an SAT score of 1600 (cr + m). A 32 on the ACT compares to a 1420 cr + m SAT score, while a 28 on the ACT compares to a 1260 combined cr + m SAT.
Another important thing to understand is that while both the ACT and the SAT are college entrance tests, they measure different things. As the 2008 concordance study states, “The ACT measures achievement related to high school curricula, while the SAT measures general verbal and quantitative reasoning.”
Add to all of this information is the awareness that in the coming year, the College Board, which produces the SAT, will be entirely revamping the existing test. Some of what we know about the SAT is likely to change, while some aspects may remain the same. The College Board has said that will unfold the new SAT in the spring of 2015, which means that this year’s high school sophomores will be taking a “new” SAT, likely to be one more aligned with the Common Core State Standards for math and literacy, and perhaps more like the ACT.