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South High student earns perfect score on ACT

Photo of Kaitlyn Ying  11/11/2019 -- South High's Kaitlyn Ying scored a 36 -- the highest possible score -- on the ACT college admissions and placement exam.

Ying, a junior at Parkway South High, is undecided where she will attend university, but is considering Missouri S&T, University of Michigan, Northwestern University and Cornell University. She hopes to study biotechnology, philosophy and environmental engineering. Outside of the classroom, Ying likes to draw, paint and run. In addition, she is involved in South High’s debate team.

Nationally, while the actual number of students earning the top score varies from year to year, only around two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2018, only 3,741 out of more than 1.9 million graduates who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1–36. A student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. The score for ACT’s optional writing test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all of the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.

ACT scores are accepted by all major four-year colleges and universities across the U.S.