Only 71 students in the nation received a perfect score .
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- "You simply cannot improve upon perfection" will be one Boardman High School senior's motto for the coming school year -- at least in regard to the American College Testing assessment exam.
Mark Beatty scored a 36, the highest possible composite score, on the ACT test. He doesn't think he will be giving it another shot during his senior year.
Beatty, who took the test as a junior, is one of eight college-bound Ohio students and one of 71 students in the United States to achieve a 36 on the test.
About 25,500 Ohio students and 389,000 students from across the nation completed the exam in April.
Beatty also took the test as a sophomore and scored well. That initial test score gave him the confidence to expect a greater score the second try, but even he did not realize how well he would do.
"The first time I took the test as a sophomore, I got a 33," he said. "The second time I took it, my goal was to get a 35 because I really did not think that a 36 was achievable. But there is always a chance, and I was incredibly happy to have it happen."
What he advises: Beatty explained that the best strategy for taking an exam like the ACT is to not allow the pressure and anxiety to become too strong.
"I would say the best advice when taking the ACT is to relax because the biggest problem with the test is that there is not enough time." he said. "You could get nervous and not finish all of the questions on the test."
Throughout his high school career, Beatty has been on the speech team, an anchor on the "Boardman Schools Update" news show, an announcer for a variety of school sports, and a National Honor Society, art club and the Key Club member among other things.
He is no stranger to high achievement and recognition, having maintained a high grade point average throughout his academic career and winning a national interview contest last year.
Another accolade: Beatty and another Boardman High School student, Patrick Alexander, were selected to interview John Glenn, former astronaut and U.S. senator from Ohio.
The contest was open to students across the country. The exact number of entries has not been determined.
Beatty has narrowed his college search to six major universities, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale. He plans to become an attorney and eventually move into politics.
The Mahoning Valley, however, may lose his talents to a larger city, where he envisions himself living.
The ACT is taken by nearly 60 percent of America's college-entering freshmen. The exam consist of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and the student's composite score is the average of the four test scores.