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07/16/2020 at 02:00AM

Why are the Eligibility indexes for ACT and SAT different?

Why are the eligibility indexes used for ACT and SAT different? Using the SAT has a significantly higher number compared to the ACT. For example, when having both of the highest scores (1600 and 36) and including a GPA of 4, the SAT is 4800 compared to ACT's 1160[The formula for each is ((High School GPA × 800) + SAT (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math)= Eligibility Index) and ((High School GPA × 200) + (10 × ACT Composite Score)= Eligibility Index)]. Is it because the SAT is preferred more? And if not, then how does SDSU compare Eligiblity Indexes using SAT's to ACT's?

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2 answers

07/16/2020 at 05:19PM

I’m not sure where you’re getting these numbers from (not that you’re wrong, but I’ve never heard of this)… I think what you’re getting at is the trend where generally, you need to have a higher percentile on the ACT compared to an equal applicant who takes the SAT. This is because since the ACT is considered an “easier” exam by lots of colleges and also because its scale is only out of 36. What I mean is, let’s say for an elite college the optimal ACT is a 35 while optimal SAT is a 1530. A 35 out of 36 is a near perfect score, but a 1530 out of 1600 is not as “good” of a score if you used straight percentage of correct answers. You essentially have to do significantly better on the ACT (percentage-wise) because a 34-36 range is equivalent to about a 1530-1600. There’s a lot more room for error on the SAT because there is a larger range of “acceptable” or “comparable” scores.

@cp83907/16/2020 at 09:34PM

You don't need to have a higher percentile, I think what you mean is that because the range is smaller, fewer ACT scores are in the 99th percentile. Like the other answer said, you should use a concordance table to compare scores from the tests. Here's the official one:

07/16/2020 at 01:32PM

SAT is used more in California but there are two different scales used by Cal State campuses. The one that shows up on campus websites is usually the SAT-based eligibility index. I'd suggest "converting" your ACT score to an SAT Score (which is difficult) but there are helpful charts online such as this:

But basically, more students submit SAT scores in general.