Sam A. '23 falls into a small category of people who can claim this big achievement: he earned a perfect score on his ACT this year.
Sam, 17, of Campton Hills, said there are no secrets and no shortcuts to earning the perfect score. He took online practice tests and is enrolled in several honors classes.
“All of St. Francis’ classes have helped me a lot,” he said. “I knew almost everything on the test already so I didn’t have to study as much as I would have.”
In 2021, only 0.3% of all ACT test-takers earned a perfect score. Another statistic we’d like to see: how many families have two children with a perfect score? Sam’s brother, SFHS alum John A. ‘21, also earned a perfect score.
On the day of the test, Sam said he felt well-prepared and motivated.
“I had some coffee and mentally prepared myself,” he said. “When I walked out, I was pretty sure I got a 36. I couldn’t think of a question I would have gotten wrong.”
Just in case, Sam braced himself before looking at his score – but a wave of relief rushed over him when I saw the news: 36. To celebrate, he went to his favorite restaurant in Geneva for dinner with his parents. He also cut his hair. A year prior to the test, he said he would forego a haircut until the perfect score dream became a reality. He admitted "it was time for a haircut" at the end.
Sam has a few schools in mind for college, namely Georgetown University (where his brother John is now a sophomore), The University of Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis. He plans to major in economics and has long-term goals of serving as a CEO of a company or starting his own business.
Sam said he was drawn to SFHS because of the other students who attend and the intensity of the academics.
“It’s a great community of students – no matter what you’re interested in, you can find a friend group to be a part of,” he said.
In the past five years, SFHS has had five students earn a perfect ACT score, one perfect ACT Superscore, and one perfect SAT score.