There’s More to New SAT Scores Than Meets the Eye

1600 Sat CircledSince the first scores of the New SAT were released last week, there has been plenty of discussion and skepticism surrounding the scores, and for good reason.  Although many students were thrilled to see scores better than they expected, the scores are actually a bit misleading, as the Washington Post reported in an article titled “Why your new SAT score is not as strong as you think it is.” 

At first glance, the scores from the new SAT appear encouraging.  The problem is that a New SAT score of 1300, for example, is not as strong as an old SAT score of 1300.  In fact, you need to use concordance tables to adjust your new score to the old SAT scores of the past ten years.  Or you can use an app available through the College Board to help convert scores.  The conversion calculations unanimously reveal that the new scores don’t stack up to the old scores, and the discrepancy between scores can be as much as 80 points.  That’s pretty significant.

It means that students who were looking at a specific SAT score to gain admission to certain colleges are likely to find they’ll need a higher score than they had thought.  Consider the example of student Bill Jones.  Bill believed he needed a 900 total SAT score to fall in line with the Median Score of Incoming Freshman at West Virginia University.  With the new SAT scoring system, however, the old 900 score converts to new 980.  In another example, to get into Penn State, the old SAT target was 1190 but the new SAT score needs to be 1260 to carry the same weight. 

Confused yet?  You’re not alone.  Many predicted there were going to be some hiccups with the new SAT.  And College Board didn’t disappoint. The inflated scoring scale was an added surprise nobody expected and few have respected.  Even more shocking is that College Board has decided unilaterally how the new SAT scores should convert to ACT scores.  In the past, the ACT-SAT concordance tables were built jointly by College Board, ACT and the NCAA after a full year of data had been gathered.   

The ACT has become the more popular test in recent years.  Since colleges accept both ACT and SAT scores, each student needs to determine which test to take first.  Dogwood Tutoring can help to figure out that dilemma.  We offer an ACT vs. SAT Comparison Test that takes about three hours, 20 minutes.  Or students may take full-length ACT and SAT practice tests to make the comparison.  Either way there is no charge or obligation for the proctored testing, diagnostic reports and private consultation.

If you could use some help in managing the confusing testing process, please contact Dogwood Tutoring anytime at 678-735-7555 or via email at  We will help you and your student pick the better test, figure out which dates to take it (and the other test, if desired), develop a customized test prep program, and achieve great results.  Our mission is to help each student perform his or her best in school and on standardized testing.