When you’re looking at the different schools that you want to apply to there are a lot of big questions that you need to answer, and one of the biggest is whether or not you are going to be able to get a high enough score on the admissions test to have a good chance of getting in.
Getting a 28 out of 36 as an ACT composite score is very good, but there are still some institutions that look for even more than this. You would expect to be around the 90th percentile within your year when you apply with this score, which means that around 1 in every 10 other applicants will have the same result or even better.
To truly understand how an ACT score of 28 looks in the bigger picture, and the impact it might have on your application, have a read through the rest of this article!
Is 28 High On The ACT?
Interpreting the numbers that you get back when you take a test is not always as straightforward as it might seem. While scoring 28/36 would mean that you have managed to get less than 80% of the possible total, it actually comes out as quite a bit higher in the grand scheme of things.
When your score is being considered by the institutions you apply to, they won’t just be looking at how much of the total you managed to get; they will be looking at how well you did, in comparison to the other applicants that come through their doors.
That’s why percentile ranks are so important. You can use these to see where you fall in terms of what everybody else is expected to score so that you can understand what level you are likely to be competing at when you apply. For example, being in the 85th percentile means that you are competing with the top 15% of all school applicants that year.
An ACT composite score of 28 would place you in the 89th percentile, based on the data for graduates from high school who took the test between 2020 and 2022. This is the data that is used for the 2022-2023 reporting year.
Below, you can see where different scores fall on the rankings. Very high or very low scores are less common, so there are always smaller changes to the percentile ranges in these areas.
|Percentile Score Ranked||ACT|
|1 – 13||10 – 13|
|13 – 32||13 – 16|
|32 – 50||16 – 19|
|50 – 67||19 – 22|
|67 – 80||22 – 25|
|80 – 89||25 – 28|
|89 – 95||28 – 31|
|95 – 99||31 – 34|
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How High Would 28 ACT Be On The SAT?
But what about the SAT? Getting a score on one test does not necessarily translate very easily to the other, since they have such wildly different scoring methods and systems.
You can, however, convert between both the ACT and the SAT to see where a score on one might fall if it were moved over to the other. Obviously, the SAT has a much larger range of different scores you can achieve, so there is more variation within the results.
A 28 on the ACT would be considered to be in the scoring range between a 1310 and a 1340 on the SAT. To get more of an idea of what these conversions look like in general, you can examine the table below:
|SAT Score||ACT Score|
|560 – 850||11 – 15|
|810 – 1010||15 – 19|
|980 – 1150||19 – 23|
|1130 – 1340||23 – 28|
|1310 – 1480||28 – 32|
|1450 – 1600||32 – 36|
Where Can You Apply With a 28 ACT
A 28 is usually right on the borderline of being within the top 10% of people who take the ACT, which is definitely impressive and something that you should be pleased with. As such, you will not be struggling to find a school that would love to have you.
There are many excellent and highly favored institutions at which most students have an average ACT score of 28 or just below. Some of the most well-regarded of these include:
- University of Iowa
- University of Central Florida
- Michigan State University
- Indiana University, Bloomington
- Temple University
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Louisiana State University and Agricultural ; Mechanical College
- Liberty University
- George Mason University
- University of Kentucky
Where Would Be Difficult To Apply With a 28 ACT
With a 28, however, there will definitely be some places at which your application might not stand out. Many of the most competitive institutions and courses will have a large number of the best-scoring students applying, and some have an average ACT score for applicants that is significantly higher than 28.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get in, though. It just might be a little harder to compete. Of the schools that usually take applicants with an ACT of between 29 and 32, some of the highest-rated are:
- University of California, Berkeley
- Baylor University
- University of Georgia
- Clemson University
- University of Florida
- Ohio State University, Main Campus
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus
- Emory University
- University of California, San Diego
- Brigham Young University
Do I Need A Higher ACT Score?
The next question that you will have is probably, am I going to need to do even better? Is 28 good enough for me? Ultimately, the answer to that is up to you.
If you want to be considered one of the best possible applicants to any of the schools listed above, then getting a score higher than 28 is going to make you even more appealing. On the other hand, there are a lot of great options for schools at which a 28 is certainly good enough.
If you do want to push yourself a little further and boost your application, then it’s a good idea to put some extra work in to achieve the best results possible in your test. Start your prep early, take as many practice tests as you can, and sit the actual ACT more than once to give yourself a better chance.
Don’t forget about your essay, references, interview, and portfolio too. There is a lot more that goes into an excellent application than just the number that you managed to score on a test.
Summary: Is 28 a Good ACT Score?
So, would 28 be considered a good score on the ACT? Without a doubt. It is up there with some of the best scores that applicants tend to achieve every year, and will usually place you around the top 10% of everyone that you are competing against for your space at the school of your dreams.
However, it is far from the best score that you could get, and a lot of educational establishments have incredibly high standards. There are an awful lot of people in that top 10% with you, so you may want to push for an even better result if you can.