Study Session

Senior scores perfect 36 on ACT


Submitted by Jasper Lee

Senior Jasper Lee scored a perfect 36 on the ACT.

Isabel Young, Editor

For many juniors, there’s a constant storm cloud looming on the horizon, a specific sense of impending doom that can only be attributed to three ominous letters- the ACT.

This stress drives most students into a frenzy of prep books and tutoring, which paid off for senior Jasper Lee, who scored a perfect 36 on his ACT in the spring. Only around a third of one percent of students can say they’ve achieved a perfect score.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, and to achieve my goals,” Lee said. “So I spent a lot of time studying and practicing. Even though I put a lot of work in, I didn’t think I was going to do this well.”

Most students who take the ACT study beforehand, but Lee adopted an especially rigorous routine to prepare for the test. In addition to the stress of everyday life and schoolwork, he studied exam material every day.

“I got one of those big ACT books that everyone has,” Lee said. “It was really a matter of keeping up a routine and going over subjects over and over again. It can get boring, and sometimes you just want to give up and go watch TV or something, but what helped me was working towards this end goal.”

Test day nerves can prove fatal for some exam experiences, but for Lee, this anxiety only drove his dedication.

“In the end, I think I was even a little over-prepared,” Lee said. “I was very nervous going in, but I’d spent so much time preparing, the test ended up being easier compared to the practice exams.”

The ACT has been criticized by students, teachers, and parents alike over the years for its one size fits all methodology. Lee emphasized his take on the importance of fitting the ACT to your personal needs.

“I don’t think there’s any shame in taking the ACT multiple times,” Lee said. “I know everyone approaches tests differently, and you should do whatever you can to get your best score. It’s great to have that option.”

While Lee’s ACT journey was typical, his results were anything but. From long nights of studying, to test-day nerves, to learning his score months later, Lee’s dedication led to a result that less than one percent of students achieve.

“I’m really happy that all those long hours and studying paid off,” Lee said. “I had no idea this was going to happen, but it really put me one step closer to achieving my goals, and I’m proud of the work I put in.”