Catholic High School junior Stephen Gaudin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Gaudin of Baton Rouge, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2016, only 2,235 out of nearly 2.1 million graduates who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.
“I was pretty surprised when I found out I got a 36 on the ACT,” said Gaudin. “I thought I did well, but I wasn't expecting a perfect score. Getting a 36 has always been a goal of mine so when I finally got the score, I was ecstatic.”
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. 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.
“My mom has definitely been the biggest help for me. She encouraged me to take the test as often as possible. I guess it has paid off because I knew what to expect and was prepared to do well on the test,” added Gaudin.
In a letter to the student recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. 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.”
Gaudin is a member of the drum line in the CHS Marching Band and plays drum set for the Show Choir and Pep Band. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, the editor of the Junior Classical League, vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and serves as a Student Ambassador.
After graduation in 2018, Gaudin plans on majoring in aerospace engineering. “Currently, I plan on applying to the United States Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M and Stanford,” said Gaudin. “If I go to a military academy, I want to become a jet pilot.”
ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.