When Luke Russell saw the score from his most recent ACT exam, he was very excited. The Dunham senior achieved the elusive perfect score on the national college admission test. Luke’s composite score of 36, the highest score possible, puts him in elite company as one of the .1 percent of students who earn a perfect score on the ACT.
To put his achievement into perspective, consider this: 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 ACT, about .13 percent.
As the leading college admissions test, the ACT measures what students learn in high school to determine their academic readiness for college with multiple choices 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.
Luke, the son of Julie and Cliff Russell, has been a student at The Dunham School since the fourth grade. He is a member of the varsity cross country and soccer teams and has appeared in several Dunham theater productions including You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; You Can’t Take It With You; and Legally Blonde: The Musical. Luke also serves as the 2018-2019 Campus Pride prefect.
With interests in engineering and medicine, Luke is investigating colleges in the state and beyond, including such notable schools as Georgia Tech, Texas A&M and Notre Dame. His senior class schedule includes four Advanced Placement (AP) classes—AP English Literature, AP United States Government and Politics, AP Calculus A/B and AP Physics—and a Dual Enrollment Introduction to Engineering course.
Reflecting on his ACT success, Luke says, “God has given me many gifts; it is my duty to use all of them to the best of my ability. The most significant influence on my academic success would be my teachers who, over the years, have given me the tools I need to succeed.”
To classmates who want to do their best on the college entrance exam, Luke shares this advice. “Sleep well the night before and try to answer every question on the test, even if it’s just a guess,” he advises.
Luke is the second Dunham student to earn a perfect score on the ACT in recent months. Earlier this spring, classmate Parker Harris also scored a perfect 36 on the ACT exam.