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Skaneateles student gets perfect ACT score

Colby Buell recently got a perfect 36 on his ACT.

Colby Buell recently got a perfect 36 on his ACT.

A Skaneateles High School student has one of the top minds in the country, according to the results of a recent test.

Skaneateles resident Colby Buell recently found out that he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT that he took last spring, a rare feat achieved by less than 0.1 percent of test takers across the country. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2012, only 781 of more than 1.66 million students earned a composite score of 36.

The ACT, which originally stood for American College Testing but now just goes by the acronym, is a standardized test taken by high school juniors and seniors to demonstrate college readiness in English, reading, math and science. There is also an optional writing section, though that score does not factor into the score out of 36.

Students are allowed to take the test as many times as they want to improve their score, Buell said his score on his first ACT, a 33, was satisfactory. So going into the second time, he knew he only needed to do better on one of the sections, which helped him relax while taking the test.

“Instead of freaking out and second guessing myself, I did the first four sections with no pressure, so that helped a lot I think,” he said.

Despite that, Buell didn’t expect to achieve perfection: “I was really surprised,” he said.

Though his perfect ACT score has already distinguished him from the rest of his classmates, the test is administered independently of the public school system and has no effect on students’ GPAs.

Buell, who will be a senior at Skaneateles in the fall, said he has no ambition of graduating at the top of his class, though he said hopes the ACT score will help him get scholarships and acceptances when he applies to colleges.

Though he has yet to narrow down his list of colleges to apply to this fall, he said wants to major in a science discipline for undergraduate school and a then apply to medical schools afterwards.

Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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