The Problem with the New SAT Test

Published by Wendy Nelson on

Standardized TestThe problem with the new SAT test is that it is “new”.  No, I didn’t find some big inherent flaw in the test itself.  I just know that having a brand new test can create a big issue for students in their college search process.

What is this big issue?

It comes down to comparisons.

Students want to be able to compare their SAT scores to the published range of the mid-50% SAT scores for a particular college.  The issue is that the colleges are not updating their published SAT score ranges yet.

So how is a student going to know where his or her score on the new SAT test falls in comparison to a college’s mid-50% score range?

Good question!  Actually, I found two helpful resources for this.

SAT Score Conversion Resources

  1. The Hard Way – You can figure out the SAT score conversion for any college using a two-step process.  Step 1 – Use the SAT Score Converter provided by the College Board (SAT test creator/provider).  This will convert your “new” SAT score to an equivalent “old” SAT score, but you need to enter all your sub-scores to do this. Step 2 – Find the mid-50% range for the colleges you are interested in.  You could go to each college’s website to find this information or you could just go to a site like or and look up each college you are interested in.  The ACT and SAT score ranges are shown on the Admission tab for each school.
  2. The Easy Way – Unfortunately, this only works for 360 of the most popular colleges in the country.  A company called Compass Education Group published the new SAT ranges for 360 colleges across the country in a downloadable guide.  They would have had to manually convert the ranges from these schools, but it saves you the trouble of having to do it.

Until all colleges update their mid-50% SAT score ranges to equate to the new SAT test, it will be inconvenient for college-bound students to see where they stand, but these tools will allow you to figure it out.

This change has created an issue for many resources available online, including my Full Scholarship List, that publish mid-50% SAT scores.  These resources will all be converted to the new score ranges over time, but it will not be an easy process.  It will also leave many students and parents wondering whether specific resources reflect the old SAT scores or the new SAT scores.  My advice is to assume that a resource is based on the old SAT score ranges unless it specifically says it reflects the new SAT score ranges.




Categories: ACT/SAT Tests