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Q&A | Erin Gwaltney

Gwaltney received a 36 on her ACT in December 2018

Gwaltney+received+a+perfect+score+on+her+ACT%2C+something+less+than+one+percent+of+students+do.+
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Q&A | Erin Gwaltney

Gwaltney received a perfect score on her ACT, something less than one percent of students do.

Gwaltney received a perfect score on her ACT, something less than one percent of students do.

Regan Peterson

Gwaltney received a perfect score on her ACT, something less than one percent of students do.

Regan Peterson

Regan Peterson

Gwaltney received a perfect score on her ACT, something less than one percent of students do.

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Erin Gwaltney (11) defied the odds when she received a perfect score of 36 on her ACT in December 2018.

Just .20 percent of every student that takes the ACT receives a 36, according to the ACT 2018 Profile Report. With such a small percentage of students who receive such a high score, the EHS-hub decided to talk to Gwaltney and find out just how her testing experience went.

Gwaltney currently takes six weighted-grade classes, with her seventh being orchestra.

Tell me about your experience with the ACT:

I’m really good at recognizing patterns on standardized tests. Once I get what the question is asking and what it’s trying to trip me up on, it becomes more of a puzzle and less of a knowledge-test.

How did you prepare for the ACT?

I took practice ACTs. I also have a book that I used for Reading because that’s the one that I had to prepare most for.

What was the hardest part of the test and why?

For me, it was definitely time-management. There’s some questions that I really wanted to spend so much time on, but I knew I couldn’t. You just have to get yourself past it. If you do get past it, you may have enough time to come back.

Was there a section that was harder than the others?

I took it with Writing. Since Writing was at the end, it was very exhausting. I did not want to do the writing because I had just taken a multiple choice test. Effort-wise, I thought that was the hardest. It was hardest to get through it. Academically, English was the hardest because they all sound the same.

How did you think you did?

I thought I did well because I knew what I was doing. I didn’t expect a perfect score. I cried in class when I got it. I didn’t know that scores were going to come out that early. I was anticipating above a 30, but I didn’t expect to get a 36.

What was your reaction when you found out your score?

I was crying of happiness. It was in AP Government. I logged into the website and I pressed to see the scores and I saw it. I saw 36, but it didn’t register for a second. But then I was like “Oh, wow,” and I started crying.

What are your plans for the future?

Some colleges I’ve visited, if you have a certain ACT score and a certain GPA, you’re already in. Places with a high acceptance rate, I could stand out as opposed to somewhere like Stanford where everybody is at that level. I haven’t ruled any schools out, but I like smaller schools where I can both shine and be surrounded by people who are smart like me. I’m thinking chemical engineering or chemistry. Maybe I’ll go into alternative energy or medicine because I want to save the Earth.

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About the Contributors
Ethan Fine, EHS_hub and EBN editor-in-chief

This is Fine's fifth semester on staff where he serves as the Editor-in-chief for both EBN and the EHS-hub. Fine enjoys playing guitar, piano and...

Regan Peterson, Managing Editor

This is Peterson's seventh semester on staff where she serves as the Managing Editor for both the Eurekana Yearbook and EHS-hub. Peterson enjoys sleeping,...

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