Q&A ACT to SAT Conversion

How does a 28 on the ACT look? What would the conversion to SAT be?

I’m going to answer your second question first and your first question second.
The ACT and SAT are both nationally normed tests intended to evaluate college readiness. As a result, most all colleges accept both SAT and ACT scores. Sometimes, though, colleges will have more data (for example, student averages) for one test over the other. It can be helpful to “convert” your scores to get an idea of where you are in terms of test score. A 28 ACT composite is the 91%ile nationally. This means that you are in the top 9% of all test takers. On the SAT, a score in the 91%ile is a 1950.
The best way to convert your score is to compare your percentiles. Below, you’ll find SAT and ACT percentile charts:

Now onto your first question. How “good” a score is is completely dependent on the institution to which you are applying. An ACT score of 28 would make you eligible for big scholarships at a number of wonderful colleges including University of Vermont and Goucher College just to name a few. A 28 would put you well below the 25%ile of Yale University students, however.

A good way to evaluate your standardized test scores for each institution is to take a look at the middle 50% of SAT and ACT scores for its students. This information is available for every college and university via the CollegeBoard. Just search the college’s name, click “applying” and then click “SAT and ACT Information.” If your score falls within the scores of the middle 50% of students, then you are on par in terms of standardized test scores. If you are in the bottom quartile, the college will be a reach for you. If you are in the top quartile, you have an excellent chance of earning a merit scholarship.
Of course, test scores are on only one piece of your application and won’t be the sole deciding factor in whether or not you are admitted and whether or not you’ll get a scholarship (except in the case of guaranteed scholarships). Your transcript, essays, and extracurriculars are what enable you to really stand out.
Have any more questions? Email Hope at hbrinn@thecollegiateblog.com or use the comment box below.