Ethan Hebert, son of Roland and Kayla Hebert and a junior at St. Louis Catholic High School, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36 in April 2019.

Only around two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2018, only 3,741 out of more than 1.9 million graduates who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that 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.

In a letter to Hebert recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Marten Roorda stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. Your exceptional scores will provide any college or university with ample evidence of your readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.”

Hebert said he focused on time management during his ACT preparation, but a perfect score wasn’t a priority.

“Achieving a 36 was something I perceived as literally impossible, but I learned that hard work and practice can lead to achieving just about anything,” Hebert said.  “I also never could’ve done this without the support from my friends, my parents and loved ones, and some really phenomenal teachers growing up. I prayed daily leading up to the test not to ace it, but for guidance and for me to do it all for God and not my own glory. God blessed me with way more than I ever asked for, and all the credit goes to Him.”

ACT scores are accepted by all major four-year colleges and universities across the U.S.  Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all of the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.  Hebert said he likely will attend Louisiana Tech University after graduation from St. Louis Catholic and major in engineering or computer science.

“We are incredibly proud of Ethan’s perfect score on the ACT,” said Andrew R. Bradley, Principal at St. Louis Catholic High School. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication he has put into his studies. Ethan embodies the character and work ethic we are trying to foster in every student at St. Louis Catholic High School.”

As for advice to other students taking the ACT, Hebert said not to stress out over it too much.

“I actually read a Bible verse (Romans 8:28) around the time of the (ACT) that says, ‘In all things God works for the good of those who love Him,’” Hebert said. “This definitely does not mean that loving God means an instant 36 for everyone, but the verse gave me confidence that no matter the outcome of the ACT, it’s just a test. I would suggest to other students to work hard on the ACT, but to not stress themselves out over it. Why put your faith in a “perfect” score when you can put it in a truly perfect God?”