By Don Rush
We tip our hats to Oxford High School senior Martha Wolf and her to her parents, Douglas and Carlotta Wolf. Why?
The other week we learned Martha earned the highest possible ACT composite score, 36. Not many who take the test can say this. According to a press release from the ACT folks, “Fewer than half of one percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2020, only 5,579 out of 1.67 million students who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36.”
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. The score for ACT’s optional writing test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.
“Earning a top score on the ACT is a remarkable achievement,” said ACT CEO Janet Godwin. “A student’s exceptional score of 36 will provide any college or university with ample evidence of their readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.”
We wanted to know how she did so well and how she prepared for the exam. Martha answered, “ I took the ACT for the first time in 9th grade and studied using the Up Your Score ACT book. I took it again in the 11th grade when I had more critical thinking and test taking skills from other courses, such as AP classes.”
She said the hardest part of the test were the geometry portions of the Math sections. “It had been a few years since I had taken geometry and I have more of an algebra brain. The essay is also challenging since you only have 40 minutes to analyze and respond to the prompt.”
To students who will take the test in the future, Martha has some suggestions.
“Take it more than once if you want to increase your score, and definitely take practice exams and get a good night’s sleep before,” she said. “The ACT is also very different from the SAT, so if you don’t like your score on the SAT, consider taking the ACT. I found the ACT questions to be more straightforward than the SAT, and the ACT has a science section which the SAT doesn’t.”
She scored a 1,570 out of 1600 on the SAT (99.8 percentile).
Besides acing the ACT, Martha is a very active student in and out of school. She’s Vice President National Honor Society; plays in the Oakland Youth Orchestra Symphony as first violin and in the Oxford High School orchestras (Chamber and Symphony concertmaster). She teaches violin in Oxford and also plays and performs on the piano.
She has three siblings, Jillian (23), Byron (19) and Stephen (14).
Congrats to the Wolf family!