Marist High School junior Kelly Hughes earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT exam.
Hughes, a St. Catherine of Alexandria graduate, is the seventh Marist student to score a 36 since 2016, and the ninth since 2004. On average, around two-tenths of one percent of students who take the ACT earn the top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2019, only 4,879 out of more than 1.8 million graduates who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.
While at Marist, Hughes has been a member of the school math team, student council, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and student ambassadors. She is considering majoring in engineering. Though it is early in the college process, she has interest in Purdue University, Northwestern University, and Columbia University, among other schools.
"Marist has definitely helped prepare me academically, and they also helped teach me how to work hard for the goals I set for myself,” Hughes said. “I owe a lot to the teachers, staff, and students at Marist."
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT’s optional writing test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score. ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.
Marist High School offers test preparation classes on campus for all standardized tests, along with a strong curriculum that readies students for exam content. Recent graduates who scored 36 include Kyle Kohn ’20, Jack Molenhouse ’20, Ed Stifter ’19, Samantha Reidy ’18, Becca Valek ’17, Jason Phelan ’16, Andrew Lynch ’10, and Peter O’Malley ’04.