Marist High School junior Jason Phelan earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Phelan is the third Marist student to score a 36 in the past eleven years. On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2014, only 1,407 of nearly 1.85 million students earned a composite score of 36.
It was Phelan’s third time taking the exam, and he increased his score by one point on each attempt. Phelan said it was his goal to attain the top score. He did not take a prep class, explaining that he felt that his classes at Marist had prepared him well enough.
Phelan, a graduate of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Lemont, says his number one college choice is the University of Chicago. He plans to major in physics and math and pursue a career in research. Phelan hopes to obtain hands-on experience this summer with a Chicagoland laboratory. While at Marist, Phelan was a two-year member of the boys basketball team, and now serves as the team’s statistician. He is a member of the school’s successful math team and is the vice-president of the National Honor Society.
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, 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.