Beating the ACT odds: Cypress Ridge junior earns perfect ACT score

April 20, 2017

Cypress Ridge junior William Wang listens to directions before starting his next project in his anatomy and physiology class. Wang earned a top score of 36 on the ACT exam. (Photo by Jassmen King, Cypress Ridge HS)
Cypress Ridge junior William Wang listens to directions before starting his next project in his anatomy and physiology class. Wang earned a top score of 36 on the ACT exam. (Photo by Jassmen King, Cypress Ridge HS) 

By Jassmen King, Cypress Ridge HS

April 20, 2017—A perfect score of a 36 on the ACT does not come easy, but Cypress Ridge High School junior William Wang did just that when he took the test on Feb. 27, 2017. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of those who take the ACT earn this top score, ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda stated in a letter to Wang recognizing his achievement.

“His achievement on the ACT is significant and rare,” Stacey Fernandez, his counselor, said. “This will afford William many college and scholarship opportunities.”

Students are typically encouraged to dedicate vigorous weeks of studying before sitting for the exam. Wang had the intention of doing the same, but he did not quite get there considering his schedule is littered with K-level and Horizons Advanced Placement/dual-credit classes as well as daily practices as the bassoonist for the wind ensemble band.

“Honestly, I was going to study months before the exam, but I procrastinated, and I just studied three days before,” Wang said.

On the day of the test, Wang drudged into the chilly third gymnasium among the rest of the approximately 690 juniors to take the test for the first time.

“I walked into the testing room tired and sleepy, and I left tired and sleepy,” Wang said. “After finding out [my results], I still feel the same, still tired every day. I still have a lot more work to do [to reach] my goals.”

Cypress Ridge junior William Wang is a bassoonist for the Cypress Ridge wind ensemble band. (Photo by Jassmen King, Cypress Ridge HS)
Cypress Ridge junior William Wang is a bassoonist for the Cypress Ridge wind ensemble band. (Photo by Jassmen King, Cypress Ridge HS)

Although Wang has been recognized by the staff and his peers, he remains humble and sees himself as the same student he was before he got his results. Now, he focuses on his classes and obtaining the goal of attending either Harvard University or Rice University to study science.

“William is a very bright young man with more potential than he realizes at this point,” Dwight Aikey, Wang’s pre-calculus teacher, said. “He can achieve everything he can and is willing to put his mind to.”

According to ACT.org, the ACT is a college readiness assessment used by most colleges and universities to help make admission decisions based not on cognitive reasoning but instead on the information taught in schools. The purpose, along with the SAT, is to provide one common criteria that can be used by admission boards to compare all student applicants.

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