Dunham junior Parker Harris achieved a perfect score on the ACT college admissions and placement exam. Harris’ composite score of 36, the highest score possible on the exam, puts him in rare company.
On average, less than .1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a perfect score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2017, only 2,760 students earned a perfect score out of the nearly 2,000,000 who took the exam, about .13 percent.
For Parker, the third time was definitely the charm. “It was definitely exciting to see that score. This was my third time to take the test. My highest previous score was 33, so my goal this time was a 35,” he said.
The ACT, administered by ACT, Inc., is the leading college admissions test, measuring what students learn in high school to determine their academic readiness for college with multiple choice tests covering four skill areas: English, math, reading and science reasoning. Each area is scored on its own scale of 1 to 36. A student’s composite test score is the average of those parts. The ACT is accepted by all major colleges and universities.
Still early in the college hunt process, Parker hopes to pursue his interest in humanities (English, history and Spanish) at a college or university out of state, but still in the South.
“God has given me so many opportunities. My goal is to take advantage of as many of those opportunities as I can and see where it leads,” Parker said. “My Dunham teachers have definitely been an influence as their goal is our success.”
The son of Jennifer and J.P. Harris, Parker has been a Dunham student since the 2nd grade. He is currently enrolled in four Advanced Placement courses and two Honors classes. He is plays in the Dunham Jazz Band, competes on the Robotics team, runs varsity cross country and is a member of Dunham’s Institute of Leadership.
Parker’s advice for earning the best possible score on the ACT? “Practice, practice, practice. Practice tests are invaluable and eventually you’ll be taking them in your sleep,” he said.
“We are incredibly proud of Parker. With his perfect score on the ACT, Parker joins an elite group of students. Out of approximately two million students who take this national test, less than one-tenth of one percent earn a perfect score,” said Dunham Upper School Director Amanda McIlwain. “Parker is just one of many Dunham students whose excellent ACT scores continue to demonstrate the strength of a Dunham education.”