4 Seniors In Hamilton County Schools Earn A Perfect Score On The ACT

Monday, November 30, 2020

High school seniors are contemplating college plans and taking college entrance exams to solidify their chance of getting into their choice school. Four seniors in Hamilton County Schools moved much closer to getting a plum acceptance to the college of their dreams by earning a perfect score on the ACT. 

Collin Matthews, at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, Seo Yoon Yang, "Yoonie," Signal Mountain High, Chase Post, also at Signal Mountain High, and Saim Bhimji, at East Hamilton High Schools are on their way to locking up a spot at choice universities as the four posted the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.

According to the ACT, only one-tenth of one percent of all test takers earn the top score on the national standardized test used for college admissions in the United States.  It is impressive for Hamilton County Schools to now have four of those top students and for Signal Mountain High to have two in the class of 2021, said officials.

The ACT consists of English, mathematics, reading, and science; each scored on a scale of 1-36. A student's composite score is the average of their scores on the four sections test. The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all of the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.

Colin Matthews not only earned a perfect score on the ACT, but he is also a National Merit Semi-finalist from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.  While he hasn't narrowed down exactly where he would like to attend school after graduation, he wants to study in the STEM field, in mathematics or computer science. 

Seo Yoon Yang, "Yoonie," is part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at Signal Mountain High and a National Merit Semi-finalist.  She aspires to major in foreign affairs and international relations in college and is passionate about advocacy and government.  At Signal Mountain, Yang participates in Student Council, Mock Trial, Youth in Government, and served as the yearbook editor-in-chief.

Chase Post, also a National Merit Semi-finalist and full IB Diploma candidate at Signal Mountain High, is interested in pursuing a degree in electrical or industrial engineering, but he is also passionate about economics. Post currently participates in TEAMS engineering competitions through TSA and math league through Mu Alpha Theta. He is heavily involved in the Signal Mountain Leo Club as vice president. Besides being a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honors Society, and Beta Club, he is also a junior national level swimmer. 

Saim Bhimji is an AP diploma candidate at East Hamilton High.  He participates in Youth in Government, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and he tutors at Mathnasium.  Bhimji plans to major in computer science in college.    

"My advice to study for the ACT would be to get comfortable with the ACT. For me, that looked like printing previously administered ACTs and taking them, making sure to understand any questions I got wrong," said Yang. "Go into the exam with confidence, and regardless of how each section goes, try to condition your mind to be positive and optimistic throughout the exam." 

Signal Mountain High and Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences are both a part of the Rock Point Learning Community. East Hamilton High is in the Harrison Bay Learning Community in Hamilton County Schools.  The three join other schools in the district to provide opportunities that challenge students to prepare themselves for success.  The district strategic plan Future Ready 2023 includes action areas to accelerate student achievement and graduate future-ready students prepared for success.


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