Six District 211 Students Earn Perfect Scores on ACT Exam

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District 211 students that scored a 36 on the ACT Exam. (Top) Nikita Pillai, Glenn Huang, Robert Andrews. (Bottom) Soumik Biswas, Emma Heckelsmiller, and Milan Patel.

District 211 students that scored a 36 on the ACT Exam. (Top) Nikita Pillai, Glenn Huang, Robert Andrews. (Bottom) Soumik Biswas, Emma Heckelsmiller, and Milan Patel.

At its September 12, 2013 meeting, the Board of Education honored six High School District 211 students for achieving a 36, the highest possible composite score, on the ACT exam.

These students included Palatine High School student Emma Heckelsmiller, William Fremd High School students Robert Andrews and Soumik Biswas, James B. Conant High School students Glenn Huang and Nikita Pillai, and Hoffman Estates High School student Milan Patel.

Three of the six students, Andrews, Biswas, and Pillai, were also recognized by the Board for accomplishing this feat for the second time.

The ACT, which is taken by nearly 60 percent of America’s college-bound students as well as all junior students in Illinois as part of the Prairie State Achievement Examination, is comprised of tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning.

Palatine High School student Emma Heckelsmiller said she was very surprised when she learned she scored a perfect score on the ACT.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited because I didn’t think I could be one of those people that accomplishes this,” she said. “I did study on the side to prepare, especially in science because I struggled with it the most, but a big part of it was getting enough sleep and staying on task.”

Other students, such as Glenn Huang, said his accomplishment was unexpected because he was just taking the exam to see what it was like. He will be taking it again in the spring and believes with hard work anyone can accomplish a high score on the ACT.

“I was pretty surprised, and I didn’t think I was going to get a perfect score,” Huang said. “I was trying the test out to see what it was like. With a lot of hard work, I think scoring a 36 on the ACT is attainable for anyone.”

Each test is scored on scale of 1-36, and a student’s score is the average of the four test scores.  On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of all ACT test takers earns a top score.  Out of more than 1.8 millions students who took the ACT in the class of 2013, just 1,162 students got a score of 36.

Since 1998, 58 High School District 211 students have earned a top score of 36 on the ACT, including five students who have done it twice. As far as students taking the exam in the future, Heckelsmiller offered a bit of advice to her peers.

“Find your problem areas and practice them,” she said. “Keep practicing until you feel better about the subject, relax, don’t stress, and just do your best.”