According to the 2014 ACT statistics, 1,845,787 students took the ACT. Out of those 1,845,787 students, 1,407 got a perfect score of 36. For those doing the math, that's 0.076 percent. If a student scores a 33 or higher they are considered to be in the top one percent of test-takers and, according to many, are in "Ivy-League Territory," meaning that competitive schools start looking at them more closely. However, a student scoring a perfect 36 is nearly unheard of; but not for Bonneville High School junior Jared Christiansen.
"I looked it up on my phone because I didn't know when the scores were going to be posted and I was like, ‘Wait...that says 36. What?!'" Jared says he couldn't believe it. He immediately told his family and then told a couple of friends. Jared's mom, MaryAnn Christiansen, says that Jared has been very humble about the whole thing. He hasn't wanted the attention from it at school, but she said that everyone has been very excited for him and very positive which has been fun.
As a student who is involved in the cross country team, the track team, keeps up on all of his homework, and still finds time to hang out with his friends, Jared didn't have too much time to focus on strictly studying for the ACT. Both Jared and MaryAnn recommend that every student plan on taking the test twice and taking practice tests if possible. The first time he took it, in the fall, Jared scored a 33 and said it helped him know the format, what to expect, and how to pace himself. "The first time I ran out of time on the math questions and had to guess on the last few. The second time I didn't spend as much time double checking I just went through as fast as I could so I made sure I had enough time."
MaryAnn and Jared both say that while practice tests helped, Jared's rigorous course schedule helped prepare him most for the test. "Jared has always been diligent in what teachers ask, getting his homework in on time, and just doing what he's supposed to do." MaryAnn says. "Being more challenged in high school makes it so that when you get to the test it's not as hard because you already know you can do hard things."
Jared's post-graduation plans include serving a mission and then college. He is still looking at school and deciding where he wants to apply but he knows he wants to go into engineering. One thing's for sure, no matter where he chooses to go, his future is bright!
Congratulations to Jared and all of our other students who worked hard and scored fantastically on the ACT! We can't wait to see what great things you do in the future!
For more information on the ACT and how to prepare for the test please see your school's counselor and http://www.actstudent.org/