A Milford High School junior recently aced the ACT with a perfect score of 36.
Deanna Brandell, 16, received news in March that she can count herself among the elite students in the nation. Only a handful of students each year, and less than one-tenth of one percent of all who take the ACT exam, manage to score a perfect 36. Typically students taking the ACT exam score around the 20-21 range.
Most colleges require students to take a standardized exam as part of the admissions process. The ACT tests in four disciplines: English, reading, math and science. It also provides an optional 30 minute essay. Students can take the ACT several times and choose which score to submit to a college.
Brandell took the ACT initially in the fall and scored a 35. While many students would be elated and more than satisfied with such a score, Brandell opted to retake the exam in the spring, and it subsequently paid off.
“I was surprised, but happily so, of course,” Brandell said. “I attribute the perfect score to good study practices, listening in class, great teachers and supportive parents.”
Brandell’s parents are not fazed by her exceptional score, given her prowess and diligent work ethic over the years.
“I wasn’t really that surprised. She has always been a good student,” said her mother, Debra Brandell.
Deanna Brandell tried her hand at some practice ACT questions on-line to give her a feel for what to expect, but didn’t take any formal class to prepare.
“I would advise other students to read as much as possible,” Deanna Brandell said. “Critical reading is essential to the ACT, in both the English and science sections. You can never get too much practice at that.”
Due to weighted Advanced Placement courses, Deanna Brandell is currently carrying a 4.1 GPA despite her demanding schedule as a member of Milford’s marching band, the Michigan Youth Band, and the Heroes of Tomorrow (HOT) robotics team.
Right now she is mulling over the idea of pursuing engineering in college.
“I’ll probably major in some type of engineering, although I know that’s a broad field,” she said.
As a junior, she still has time to decide which college she wants to attend. She’s earned the right to be choosy.
“I’m undecided as of yet, although MIT, Wellesley, Harvard and U of M all sound interesting,” she said.
Due to her recent acclaim and accomplishment, colleges are already pursuing her.
“We joke that we’re keeping the post office in business — we’ve received so much from colleges as of late,” Debra Brandell said.