If you’re feeling a little nervous about your chances when it comes to the schools you are hoping to apply to this year, then it’s a good idea to get lots of information to make sure you are as ready as possible. With that being said, is 27 a good ACT score to get you where you want to go?
When it comes to the ACT, a score of 27 is well into the upper range for what people tend to achieve, but there is still room to do better. You will be able to apply to a lot of excellent schools with this score, however, the most competitive institutions often look for an even higher number.
Within the rest of this article, we’re going to cover what you should know about an ACT composite score of 27 and how it can affect your applications to further education.
How Does 27 Compare To Other Scores?
Looking at the number alone, it is not easy to tell whether or not you are really achieving the level that you are looking for. 27 out of 36 is 75% of the total, but how good is that compared to what you are expected to achieve?
Since there are no grades to tell you how well you’ve done on this test, you can instead look at the percentile rank that your score sits within. These ranks show how well other people are expected to do on the same test so that you can get a better idea of what level you are competing at.
On the ACT, a 27 out of 36 as a composite score ranks within the 86th percentile, according to the 2022/2023 ranking report. What this means is that there is only expected to be around 14% of people that manage to get this same score or higher in that year.
This percentile is calculated using the data from the 2020 to 2022 school years, and you can see where some of the other scores fall in this table:
|Percentile Rank Range||ACT|
Keep in mind that, due to the way percentiles work, there is more change within the scores that are more common – meaning that a score difference of just one or two within the middle range can greatly affect your percentile rank.
Check out these other top picks in this category:
Where Would 27 Be On The SAT?
If you want to further understand what a 27 really means, then it might make more sense to you if you can see what kind of score it would compare with on the SAT.
There are a lot more points within the SAT scoring system than the ACT system, so they do not convert over exactly – but you can get a pretty good idea of the region you would likely fall into nonetheless.
Taking a 27 ACT composite score and converting it to the SAT would be the equivalent of something between 1280 and 1300. Based on the 2022 data, this would place you between the 84th and 86th percentile for that year.
The following table shows where other ACT scores might land you on the SAT:
|1450 – 1480||32|
|1420 – 1440||31|
|1390 – 1410||30|
|1350 – 1380||29|
|1310 – 1340||28|
|1280 – 1300||27|
|1240 – 1270||26|
|1200 – 1230||25|
|1160 – 1190||24|
|1130 – 1150||23|
|1100 – 1120||22|
|1060 – 1090||21|
What Kind Of Schools Are Easy To Apply To With This Score?
When it comes down to it, the main purpose of your ACT score is to get you into the school you are hoping to study at, so which might that be for a 27? Since you would be within the top 15% of all candidates, there are many incredible places out there that you should be able to easily apply to.
Of the schools whose student body consists of people with an average score of around 27 or slightly less, here is a selection of those that are the most highly-regarded:
- Michigan State University
- University of California, Davis
- University of California, Irvine
- Temple University
- Colorado State University, Fort Collins
- George Mason University
- University of Kentucky
- James Madison University
- University of Utah
- University of Illinois at Chicago
What Kind Of Schools Are Not Easy To Apply To With This Score?
While there are many wonderful schools that do not need more than a 27 in order to apply, there are also a number of institutions for which this score might not be high enough to compete with the other applicants.
The schools with the most competition will be the schools with the highest level of prestige, and the students who get into these will typically have ACT scores of 30 or more.
There will be many that you would still have a decent chance when applying to, it would just be more of a challenge to stand out. Some of the institutions that usually expect their applicants to have an ACT score of 28 to 31 include:
- University of Florida
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Ohio State University, Main Campus
- Clemson University
- University of Washington, Seattle Campus
- University of Georgia
- Baylor University
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus
- University of California, San Diego
- American University
Do I Need More Than A 27?
What you really want to be asking yourself, at the end of the day, is: am I happy with a 27? It might be the perfect score for you, and it might take you straight to the perfect school for your needs, but it might not. It depends on what your personal academic goals are, and your plans for the future.
If you want your application to really be noticed, and you want to give yourself the best chance of receiving an offer, then a 27 may not be enough – particularly when you are applying to a more competitive institution.
If you do want to score more highly, then it is a matter of putting in the work. Get practicing straight away, and do as much preparation as you possibly can. Most people will take the ACT a number of different times since it’s very unlikely that your first result will be your best.
Summary: 27 ACT Composite Score
So, how should you feel about a 27 on the ACT? It’s a great score that opens the door to a lot of great schools, but it’s not the most outstanding result possible.
If you’re hoping to be noticed by the best schools in the country, then you may want to aim for a score in the 30s, and some places regularly receive applications from students with a 35 or 36.
It’s not all about the number, though. There is a lot more that goes into a successful application than just your admissions results, so make sure to present the best version of yourself in the interview, your essay, and whatever other materials you are asked to send.