Gene Lee and Sophia Sun achieve perfect scores on ACT

Most upperclassmen know the ACT like the back of their hand — in the state of Wisconsin, every junior is required to take the test in late February. In some of the more selective colleges, a high standardized test score is one of the first things admissions officers look for when reviewing prospective students’ applications. Nationwide, over 2.1 million students wrote the ACT in 2016, with only about 2,300 — just above 0.1% — attaining a 36 composite score.

This February, Gene Lee (‘18) and Sophia Sun (‘18) had the honor of not only scoring a 36 overall, but also in each individual section. In order to do this, a student must answer every question on the test correctly.

The perfect score report seemed to have come as a surprise to both students. “It was pretty surreal,” said Lee. “I thought I was reading it wrong at first! I had to refresh the browser a couple of times before I believed it.”

Sun felt the same way: “I had taken the ACT in middle school, so I was pretty comfortable with the format,” said Sun. “I felt good walking out of the testing room, but I was still pleasantly surprised when I received my scores in the mail!”

While a high score on the test is sure to attract the attention of many colleges, Sun stresses the importance of not reducing yourself to just a number and diminishing the importance of other activities. “I think having a perfect score definitely boosted my chances of being admitted to college, but test scores aren’t everything,” she said. “A lot of people place a huge emphasis on raising their ACT scores, but in the end I see it as just a small piece of the college application; my score doesn’t give a holistic representation of who I am as a student.”

As college application season comes to a close with most Regular Decision deadlines set in early January, Lee and Sun are sure to make the most of their accomplishment while applying to various colleges.