More Kids Than Ever Are Getting a Perfect ACT Score

The number of perfect ACT scores among U.S. students has more than doubled between 2015 and 2018. Why is that perfect ACT score of 36 getting so common?

A golden number 36 surrounded by a semi-circle of stars

Today’s high school students are really raising the bar when it comes to standardized test scores.

According to a May 2019 USA Today post, more students than ever are getting a perfect ACT score. The number of perfect scores – a score of 36 – has more than doubled since 2015, the report states. About 1 in 2,600 students got the top score in 2010 compared to 1 in 500 in 2018.

The issue has been in the news lately after 17 students from a single high school in Cincinnati earned perfect scores.

What’s behind the trend? Experts say it could be the rise in test prep programs for the ACT and SAT, USA Today reports.

Of course, your child’s ACT and SAT scores aren’t the only thing that matters when it comes to getting into college.

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If your student’s score isn’t “perfect” (or even close), consider these other top factors to matter to college admissions staff.

1. Plan your high school coursework

Colleges aren’t just looking at scores on standardized tests; they also want to see how your child did in the specific classes they took. If your child is eyeing a highly selective college, they can even plan high school classes with college plans in mind, the University of Chicago notes.

“During junior year, take challenging honors, advanced, AP or IB classes available as appropriate, and build a strong and well-rounded schedule for your senior year,” the university suggests.

2. Write a great college essay

A college essay gives applicants a chance to stand out. There are a lot of myths when it comes to this anxiety-provoking piece of the puzzle, though. Demystify the process and learn how to write an attention-grabbing essay.

3. Seek out strong recommendations

Many colleges require letters of recommendation in the application process. Students should choose wisely on who will write theirs. Discover more college application tips.

Check out Metro Parent’s guide to applying for college to find even more advice on getting into college that goes beyond perfecting those standardized tests.

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