Posting a perfect story on any standardized test is almost impossible but an Alton High School senior – Nicole Matis – did just that recently with an 800 out of 800 in a Scholastic Aptitude Test ( SAT) math assessment.
The average SAT mathematics score in 2013 was 513. The SAT test also includes critical reading and writing categories.
“I just think math is interesting,” Matis said. “I want to be an engineer and math is a big part of my life. I was very surprised.”
She has placed a math emphasis in her curriculum since pre-school.
Matis has attracted the interest of different colleges, including Stanford, MIT and Princeton.
Laura Lauschke, one of Matis’ math instructors, said she was so proud of what Matis accomplished on the test.
“She is one of those students that only come around every once in a while,” Lauschke said.
Matis is a fan of Lauschke as a teacher and said she makes her classes interesting and relates mathematics to real life.
Matis is a member of Alton High’s math team and she won a team award in Southwestern Conference competition.
While not competitive in high school sports, the Alton High School student expressed interest in rowing in college.
“I have done a lot of kayaking and rafting,” she said. “I think rowing would be a fun sport to get into.”
Matis’ father is a chemical engineer and that had a big influence on her future career choices. She is the daughter of Jeff and Nancy Matis.
“My dad does help me a lot,” she said. “He wants me to do what I want to do in the future.”
Lauschke sees Matis as a student who can think outside the box when problem solving.
“When posed with different possibilities, she has been able to break it down into small pieces,” Lauschke said.
Matis had a simple thought on why she has been so successful at solving math problems: "I don't quit."
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