SAT, ACTStudents are typically confused about knowing whether their SAT or ACT test scores are good enough. The best way to begin to find this out is to take your scores and go to websites like or,

Let’s begin by viewing the concordance tables from the Collegeboard which provide the correlation between the two exams. (ALL schools accept both SAT and ACT scores.)

Concordance Between ACT Composite Score and SAT Critical Reading, Math & Writing Score

ACT Composite      SAT Reading/writing & Math       
36                             1600
35                             1570
34                             1540
33                             1500
32                             1470
31                             1430
30                             1400
29                             1360
28                             1320
27                             1290
26                             1260
25                             1220
24                             1180
23                             1140
22                             1110
21                             1070
20                            1030
19                             990
18                             950

17                             910
16                             870
15                             830
14                             780
13                             740
12                            680
11                            590

Generally speaking a score of:

  • SAT scores between 1100–1200 or ACT scores between 22-24 is adequate for many colleges
  • SAT scores between 1200-1400 or ACT sccores between 25-30 is very good for many top schools
  • SAT scores above 1400 or ACT scores above 30 should ensure that your teen will have no problems for admission to the most competitive schools (if all else is in order)

Now that you have all the numbers, I’m going to make it very simple for you:

  • An SAT score between 1100–1200 or an ACT score between 23-27 is adequate for the majority of colleges. EXAMPLES: Clemson, University of Georgia, James Madison, Penn State, Ohio State, University of Texas, University of Indiana.
  • An SAT score between 1200–1400 or an ACT score between 27-30 is very good and sufficient for many highly competitive schools. EXAMPLES: University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware, Binghamton.
  • An SAT score above 1400 or an ACT score above 32 should ensure that your teen will have no problems for ‘getting in the door’ at the most competitive schools. EXAMPLES: Washington University, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Franklin Olin College of Engineering, Columbia – you get the idea!


Also, scores are a PIECE of the admission pie. The other important pieces are GPA, extracurriculars, recommendations and the college essay.

It’s important to note also that students who apply to a particular school, self select based on all of the above criteria. That said, students may not get into a school not because they don’t have all the pieces in place, you’re not from Kansas City, MO, they’re not a left-handed oboe player, or they’re not male! FYI: Being a male is an advantage as more females attend college than males.

Do you need more information about college acceptance, the differences between the SAT and ACT,  which is the better exam for your student, when is the best time for your teen to take the exam, and how best to prepare?

Have your student tale the quick SAT vs ACT Assessment and find out which exam suits your teen better. The SAT and ACT Skill Set Assessments not only validate the SAT vs. ACT Assessment but provide potential SAT and ACT score ranges.

Also key to test prep is identifying what type of learner your student is. Then, I invite you to schedule your personalized Breakthrough Test Prep Strategy session, where ALL of your questions will be answered. I look forward to our connecting.


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