Marist High School junior Rebecca (Becca) Valek earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Valek (Beverly) is the fourth Marist student to score a 36 in the past twelve years, and the first female student at Marist to do so. 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 Becca’s second time taking the exam, and she increased her score by two points from her first attempt. Becca said she felt better when taking the second exam, especially in math. While she did review some practice math problems, she did not take a prep class.
Becca, a St. Barnabas graduate, says she has a short list of colleges she is interested in, but is not committed to one yet. She is looking at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Brown University, and University of Pittsburgh. She plans to pursue a career in medicine. She will start that path this summer through a research program with the University of Chicago, where she will work in the oncology department.
Along with a challenging honors and Advanced Placement course load, she is involved in Marist’s theatre program, math team, Marist Youth service group, Relay for Life, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and chorus. She also volunteers regularly in the community, especially with The Port Ministries based in the Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood.
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.