EHS senior Margaret PatyEDWARDSVILLE - Earning a perfect score on the ACT exam is rare, but EHS senior Margaret Paty has done just that.

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A perfect ACT score of 36 is quite an accomplishment. Less than half of one percent of students who take the test nationwide attain a perfect score.

“I remember that day I opened the score and I saw that the super score was 36, then saw the composite score, and it was just crazy.”

Paty was taking the test for the second time in July after scoring a 34 in April.

“My science score was lower than the other sections and with the schools I wanted to apply to, I wanted to get my score up.”

The ACT combines tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, with a student’s composite score the average of the four test scores.

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The perfect score did not happen automatically, Paty said. Instead, it was the result of countless hours of studying.

Paty studied at the College Preparation Station in Maryville, where she sometimes spent four to five hours a day, taking different practice tests to figure out the pacing and the strategies. This was also in the midst of summer cross-country training.

“I give a lot of credit to the College Preparation Station and the people there. What they do works.”

She also credits her parents and her teachers.

Paty said the ACT is all about studying and preparation.

“When you do the work and study, it will pay off. Your performance is usually proportional to the amount of work you put in.”

Following graduation, Paty plans to attend college and study computer science with plans of doing something in AI (artifical intelligence).

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