Practice Makes Perfect: Lauryn Grady’s Perfect 36

 

  By Sarah Michels, Editor-in-Chief, Rosecall

Dozens of nervous students walked through the doors of various schools around the country on the morning of September 9th, equipped with their sharpened pencils, calculators, and student IDs. As each entered their testing rooms and sat down, they hoped that today was their lucky day; maybe, just maybe, today they would finally reach their ACT goal. One of these students was Lauryn Grady, a senior at Assumption High School, who was aiming for the ever-elusive perfect score.

The ACT (American College Testing program) is a standardized test (whose grading scale ranges from 1 to 36) that every high school student takes in order to assess college readiness, in hopes of receiving a score at or above the entrance and scholarship requirements of their dream schools. Getting a 36 is extremely rare; less than ONE TENTH of one percent (.106%) received a perfect score in 2016. The morning of September 9th, Lauryn Grady joined this prestigious group of just above 2,500 people all across America.

 

Assumption has had a few perfect scores in the past couple years, most recently Ariel Turner (2015) and Trisica Dunlevy (2012), which is a testament to the academic rigor of the school. In order to help its students reach their standardized test potential, Assumption provides the PreACT, PLAN, PSAT, and most recently, a National ACT to its students in their first three years of high school. Additionally, Assumption integrates ACT prep into core classes, offers a Method Test Prep subscription to all students, and works with TorchPrep to provide sessions with a $100 discount. All this effort has paid off, which is evident in the below charts. When students takes the High School Placement Test (HSPT), Assumption uses their composite score to predict their future ACT score. 100% of the Class of 2017 met or exceeded their predicted score, which illustrates the credibility of the school.

 

HSPT Composite Rank *Predicted ACT Score  Actual ACT Score ranges

Class of 2015

Actual ACT Score ranges

Class of 2016

Actual ACT Score ranges

Class of 2017

98 31 34 – 36 **** 31 – 33
95 29 31 – 32 31 – 33 31 – 34
85 25 27 – 31 26 – 31 26 – 34
75 23 26 – 29 23 – 28 23 – 31
60 21 23 – 26 24 – 29 25 – 29
50 20 23 – 25 21 – 25 22 – 29
40 19 21 – 24 21 – 29 20 – 27
25 17 19 – 21 19 – 23 20 – 25
15 15 17 – 23 17 – 21 17 – 23

 

HSPT Composite Rank Predicted ACT Score 

(as indicated by years of predictive validity studies by Scholastic Testing Service, Inc.)

Actual ACT Score ranges

Assumption High School Class of 2017

98 31 31 – 33
95 29 31 – 34
85 25 26 – 34
75 23 23 – 31
60 21 25 – 29
50 20 22 – 29
40 19 20 – 27
25 17 20 – 25
15 15 17 – 23

 

 

Lauryn Grady is a shining example of this success. She attended St. Francis of Assisi grade school, and credits her English teacher, Mrs. Conway, and math classes for her solid academic baseline. When she came to Assumption, Lauryn was placed in all advanced classes and thrived in the classroom. However, she didn’t always expect to get a perfect score. Lauryn took the ACT four times before she got a 36, beginning with a score of 32 the summer before junior year, and moving up from there. Her weakest area was science, which she remedied by learning how to manage her time more wisely during ACT tutoring classes. Lauryn explained her advice on how to improve scores, saying, “Doing practice tests really helps as well as being aware of your time. I think it’s important to find out what works best for you. Just because a tutor is telling you [to do] a certain technique, that may not work best for you.”

 

After she received a 35, Lauryn debated whether or not the time and effort required to take the ACT again was worth the slim chance that she would get a perfect score. In order to get a 36, depending on the curve of the test, students can miss from zero to two questions across all four sections of the test, so Lauryn would essentially need to have a flawless day in order to reach her goal. “I’m a pretty determined person, and I knew I’d be annoyed with myself if I didn’t at least try one more time” Lauryn stated. Clearly, her willpower paid off.

 

The entirety of the Assumption community is quite proud of Lauryn’s accomplishment; Mrs. Fieldhouse, the Dean of Studies, said “We know that Lauryn would have been successful at any school, but we believe that Assumption offers the combination of rigorous curriculum and opportunities in combination with the support of teachers and other staff to make this type of success a reality. An achievement like this only comes with the combination of the blessings of God-given talent and lots of hard work.”

 

Lauryn is very excited that she set a high bar for herself and reached it, but she has approached her success with humility. While standardized testing has reaped many benefits for her, she stated, “I don’t believe in its ability to assess someone’s intelligence”. I have a lot of friends who are brilliant, but they aren’t good test takers, and this has unfairly affects their ability to get into certain colleges or receive scholarships. I also don’t think standardized testing is fair because tutoring really helps students raise their scores, but there are a lot of students who don’t have the opportunities to get tutored.”

 

While the ACT is vital to entrance into college, students must remember that there is more to their identity than a simple number. Lauryn reflected on her experiences, saying, “Sure, I can tell you how many outfits you can make with four shirts and two pairs of pants and six hats, but I still don’t know how to turn on our washing machine. Your ACT score doesn’t measure how smart you are; it just measures how good you are at taking the ACT.”

 

Congratulations Lauryn!!

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