Phillip Miner didn't really study specifically for the the ACT and he didn't feel well on the day he took the exam that is an annual ritual for high school students heading to college after graduation. That's why he was surprised when he got a letter with his test results telling him he was one of one-tenth of one percent of students in the country to score a 36, the highest possible score.
Phillip Miner didn't really study specifically for the the ACT and he didn't feel well on the day he took the exam that is an annual ritual for high school students heading to college after graduation.
That's why he was surprised when he got a letter with his test results telling him he was one of one-tenth of one percent of students in the country to score a 36, the highest possible score.
“I read it out loud to everyone at home,” Miner said just before early morning band practice on Monday. “It was weird because I didn't know why they would have sent a letter when I was opening it, so I was reading the letter before I had looked at my scores. I was looking at it first and before, my family was all trying to guess what my score would be and my dad asked what it was out of, and I couldn't quite remember, so I was guessing 35. So he guessed a 36, so when I was opening it, they were talking about how one tenth of a percent of test takers get a 36, so Dad was right, even though he was messing around.”
According to a written release from the ACT, Miner is the son of Doug and KaLyn Miner and is a senior at CHS this year.
Test officials said in 2016, only 2,235 out of nearly 2.1 million graduates who tool the test got a 36 on the four-part exam. That's one-tenth of one percent.
“The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1–36,” the company said. “A student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take the optional ACT writing test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.”
ACT Chief Executive Marten Roorda recognized the achievement in a letter to Miner.
“Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare,” Roorda said. “While test scores are just one of multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”
Carthage High School Principal Matt Huntley said Miner's score was a special achievement.
“It's unheard of for me,” Huntley said. “I know students who score perfect on specific sections of the ACT. But to hang a 36 on the whole exam is unreal. We are proud of the way Phillip represents CHS everyday.”
Miner said the ACT is so wide-ranging that studying for it is difficult. This was the second time he had taken it. The first time he got a respectable 32. He said he wouldn't have taken it a second time, except for the fact that he was required to take it again.
“I actually don't prepare for tests a whole lot,” Miner said. “It's essentially four different tests and you could potentially study those sections but they're such broad topics, most of the studying you do won't end up mattering. I really don't know how someone would study for a test like the ACT when it's so large. I don't study for it, I just try to go for it, but that's probably not the advice I'd give.”