Miller aces ACT

By Kristen Hammer 2009

If there’s a test for a student to ace, junior Michael Miller sure picked one of the toughest. Every year ACT tests are handed out to students across the Midwest.  This college entrance exam was set up to test skills in English, mathematics, reading and science.  The scores from the four tests are averaged to provide a final composite score on a scale from 1 to 36, 36 being a perfect exam.

With the wide variety of questions, limited time to complete the tests, and, not to mention, pre-test anxiety, very few ever receive a perfect score.  So few, in fact, that less than 1 percent of ACT test takers see that magic number printed on their results. Thus, you can imagine the hysterical shock of Miller upon realizing he was one of the lucky few to earn a perfect score of 36.

“If I remember right, I yelled, threw the letter in the air and went streaking at a Mensa meeting to celebrate,” Miller said.

Of course Miller was more than thrilled, but his score is more than something to jump around about. A perfect score is a giant step toward future success and is sure to turn heads at college admission offices.

Miller has hopes for how his score will help him out, and some of his ideas differ by far from his friends’.

“Some people are convinced I’ll go to college free, and one guy was sure with a 36 I’ll end up with a hot wife,” Miller said.

He said he “didn’t know about those things,” but he is hoping for increased scholarship opportunities. He is specifically inclined toward schools such as Goshen College (a Mennonite school in Indiana), Carleton, Grinnell and Swarthmore.  Having interests in a wide variety of subjects including English, math, technology, politics and foreign language, he is, like many of his fellow classmates, still exploring career choices.

“I’m not really sure what all I want to go into—on the ACT I actually marked ‘unsure’ about my ‘undecided’ planned major,” Miller said.

One would think, with all of the shock and celebrating, that this ACT score fell from the sky like raining Skittles. Quite to the contrary, Miller had been preparing himself all throughout high school, overcoming a challenging curriculum with a 4.0 GPA. Miller mentioned Great Books as one of his toughest classes but also one of his favorites.
It was his first time taking the ACT, and prior to the exam, he took the practice test. As recommended, he also got a good night’s sleep and ate a good breakfast.
His preparation was nothing out of the ordinary and did not exclude him from pre-test anxiety.

“I was a little nervous. I tried to deal with it by thinking happy thoughts and remembering that a number on some test wouldn’t make or break my future,” Miller said.

This was the attitude that Miller took with him into the exam room, and it worked wonders.

“He’s putting his pants on one leg at a time. He’s had a good experience at CFHS, and if he can do it, others can do it,” said Principal Dr. Rich Powers of Miller’s achievement.

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