MIDVALE — Three students from Hillcrest High School have gotten a perfect score on their ACT so far this academic year.
Senior Michelle Simmons and juniors Peter Johnston and Joseph Morrell received a perfect score of 36 on the ACT during the 2013-14 academic year. The ACT is used for college placement.
“When I figured out that I had the 36 it was a great feeling,” Morrell said. “I knew that I had accomplished more than I had set out to do — a lot more. It was a feeling of sort of validation that I had done well and my family was very proud of me.”
At least one student has brought home a perfect ACT score for the past three years at Hillcrest High School, according to principal Susan Malone. Two students received a 36 during the 2012-13 academic year.
Morrell took the test in December and found out his results during Christmas break.
He studied on his own and said the thing that best helped him to prepare was taking the test multiple times. On his first attempt he got a 35.
“When I took it the first time I really got a better understanding of how the test would work and how to pace myself with what to do with my time,” he said.
He also said taking difficult classes in school helped him do well on the ACT. Taking rigorous classes throughout high school can give students a depth of understanding for all of the content areas on the test, according to Hillcrest's principal.
In addition to improving scores on college placement tests, Malone said taking challenging classes will help students do well in college because they will develop good study and time management habits.
I'm really proud that these students take every challenge that they possibly can find to help prepare themselves for their future.
“Too frequently you hear about students who have taken the easy path, the easy way out and take an easy senior year, and I’m really proud that these students take every challenge that they possibly can find to help prepare themselves for their future," she said.
All of the juniors at Hillcrest will take the ACT in March. Many school districts in Utah have adopted the ACT trio, which helps students prepare for college by letting them take ACT preparation tests in the 8th and 10th grades to help them know which areas they may need to focus on for improvement before they take the ACT their junior year.
Taking the test in March gives juniors time to retake the test for a better score before applying to colleges.
Morrell said he hasn't decided where he wants to go to college yet and hopes to keep his options open.