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South High student earns perfect score on ACT test

Michael Zhao, from South High School, scored a 36 -- the highest possible score -- on the ACT college admissions and placement exam.
Zhao took the ACT test in late April when it was administered to all Parkway juniors. To assist students prepare for graduation and beyond, Parkway began offering the ACT exam in 2010 during the school day at no cost to families. 
Parkway students achieve an average ACT score of 24.1, which is the fourth-highest of 524 Missouri school districts.  The state and U.S. averages are 21.6 and 21.1 respectively.
Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, roughly one-tenth of one percent receive a top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2009, only 638 of nearly 1.5 million students earned a composite score of 36.
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science.  Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student’s composite score is the average of four test scores.  
ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges, and exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.