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Canfield junior gets perfect ACT

CANFIELD — Canfield High School junior Tarik Mashqbeh, 16, has joined an elite group of American students after scoring a 36 on his ACT test in his sophomore year.

Tarik, son of Judy and Ahmad Mashqbeh, took the ACT for the second time in June. His first encounter was at the end of his freshman year when he scored in the 30-point range. He wanted to better that score and took another crack at it about six months ago.

“The ACT was in June so I began preparing in April,” Tarik said. “I went online, found resources and completed practice tests.”

He took the practice tests weekly during April and May in order to perfect his skills and prepare for the 215 questions that make up an ACT. In early June, he took the real test and a week later got his score.

“I remember it was during soccer practice that I learned about my score,” he said.

That score was a composite score of 36, which is the highest mark one can receive on the test. The ACT is split into four categories that include English, math, reading and science. Each category has its own score to make up the composite of the four areas. Tarik scored a 36 in each of those areas.

“We have had students score a 36 in an individual category,” CHS guidance counselor Tara Kalina said. “But I don’t know of any who scored 36 in every category.”

Kalina has been with Canfield Local School District for 31 years. She said the school staff found out about Tarik’s score a few weeks ago. He is a humble student and did not brag about his achievement.

“I asked him why he did not want to schedule the ACT in his junior year,” Kalina said. “Most students continue to take it to see if they can get a higher score. We didn’t know Tarik had reached the highest one could go. As soon as we found out we broke out the doughnuts and had a celebration for Tarik.”

According to information provided by the school district, one quarter of one percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score of 36. In the U.S. graduating class of 2022, only 3,376 out of 1.34 million students who took the ACT score a top composite score of 36.

“We were highly proud of his accomplishment,” Canfield High School Principal Dr. Mark Potts. “It is a testament to him, his parents, and his teachers.”

Earning the composite score of 36 places him in a good position for college and an array of scholarships. At this time, Tarik has not yet chosen a college or university, but did say he would probably want to major in computer science.

Besides his good study habits, Tarik also serves on the CHS soccer team and is a member of the Speech and Debate team at CHS.

“This is my third year in Speech and Debate,” he said.

Tarik competes in Lincoln Douglas Debate and last year qualified for state and ended up in the top 26 in Ohio. He auto qualified (or Bid Out) for state in both his sophomore and junior years, even though he is only one-third the way through this season.

Another opportunity Tarik said the high ACT score will bring is the fact he could help other students prepare for the test as an ACT tutor, and get paid to do it.

Tarik can also help his younger siblings, Zach, 13, Moses 12, and Sumaya, 12, when they get their turn at the ACT. His older sister Emily is in her third year of college and had scored high on the ACT when she was at CHS.

In a press release this week, Superintendent Joseph Knoll shared his congratulations, stating, “Tarik’s achievement reflects not only his dedication but also the commitment to academic excellence we value at Canfield Local Schools. We’re incredibly proud of his accomplishment, and it speaks to the high caliber of students within our district.”

ACT CEO Janet Godwin also noted how prodigious Tarik’s accomplishment is.

“Earning a top score on the ACT is a remarkable achievement,” Godwin stated. “A student’s exceptional score of 36 will provide any college or university with ample evidence of their readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.”

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