SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

New to Old SAT Conversion - Official Formulas and Tools

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

SAT General Info

 

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As of March 5, 2016, the new SAT is out. This means that those who took the old 2400-point SAT may want to know what their new 1600-point SAT score would have been, and vice versa. This information is critical for when you research and apply to scholarships and colleges that use a different version of the SAT than the one you took. 

Here, we give the official conversions between old SAT and new SAT scores. These conversions come directly from the College Board, and we've made automatic conversion tools to make it easier for you!

 

Converting from Old SAT to New SAT

Do you have your old SAT score, including the scores for each section: Writing, Mathematics, and Critical Reading?  If so, just plug your current numbers into the left hand side below, and your new total will pop out automatically on the right!

Enter your values here:
Get automatic conversion here:

 
 

Converting from New SAT to Old SAT

Do you have a new SAT score, but want to convert to the old SAT, perhaps for a scholarship or college that still uses the old standard?  In this case, you'll have your total new SAT score, your new Math Section score, and your new Verbal Section score (officially called "Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.")  Go ahead and plug in your New SAT score on the left column and your old SAT score equivalents will show up on the right!

Enter your values here:
Get automatic conversion here:

 
 

More Information About Converting Between Scores

When You'll Want to Convert Between Scores

On one hand, the new SAT and the old SAT are different tests. No single test captures all the information from other tests. Comparing your score on the two tests is, in some ways, like comparing your marathon speed with your 100-meter-sprint speed. While the two speeds are probably correlated, the tests are different, and no one test fully summarizes the other.  

On the other hand, scores from the two tests are indisputably related. They both aim to test similar concepts, they have similar functions as college admissions tests, and they both keep some of the same multiple-choice features. If you do well on one test, you'll tend to do well on the other. Therefore, it absolutely makes sense to talk about converting between one score and another.  

The concept we use in the conversion above is called theoretical equivalence. That is, if you were to perform as well on one test as the other, what would your total score and section scores be? This gives us a formula where the math section remains the same, and the verbal sections map onto each other.

You can use this conversion if you're administering scholarships or admissions and want the same standards across the board.  If you're intuitively used to thinking in terms of Old SAT scores, this conversion lets you understand New SAT scores better.  

However, you should be aware of one caveat if you are using conversion tables to predict test scores. The caveat is that you'll experience regression to the mean. If you did better than average on the old sat (above 1500), you'll do just a tad lower than on the new SAT than your conversion chart score. Likewise, if you did worse than average (less than 1500) on the old SAT, you'll do just a tad better on the new SAT.  The reason for this is that new test doesn't test exactly the same things as the old test, and for the new subjects being tested, you are statistically more likely to do more average.  Thus, you should expect your score to shrink towards the average.

 

 

What To Do Next?

Now you've converted between the two scores, one thing you should very seriously consider is taking the new SAT.  Even if you have an old SAT score, and you've predicted your new SAT score according to the above conversion formula, you will likely perform somewhat differently when you take the real new SAT.  This is a good thing because, with superscoring, you have two bites at the apple and more chances to improve.

Likewise, if you took both the old SAT and the new SAT, and found that your old SAT converted to more than your actual new SAT score, this is a sign you just had bad luck on your new SAT. If you take it again, there is a good chance you'll score higher!

 

Further Reading

Wondering how many times you should take the SAT? Check out our guide and learn the exact number that's best for you! 

Planning on taking the SAT? Learn the best ways to study for the new version of the SAT.

Have you taken the SAT more than once or are planning on taking it more than once? Superscoring can be a huge benefit for you! Learn what superscoring is, when it's used, and how it can help you with college admissions.

 

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Dr. Fred Zhang
About the Author

Fred is co-founder of PrepScholar. He scored a perfect score on the SAT and is passionate about sharing information with aspiring students. Fred graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor's in Mathematics and a PhD in Economics.



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