Caroline Obluda photo by Puckett’s Photography

Caroline Obluda, daughter of Margaret and Gerry Obluda and a senior at St. Louis Catholic High School, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36 in October 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.

“My parents have always supported me, and my mom told me not to lose sleep over one test, which really helped me stay cool and collected when taking the test,” Obluda said.  “However, I was nervous to look at my results because I knew this was the last time I would ever take the ACT.  When I saw the score, I definitely freaked out a little bit and immediately emailed my parents.  It was very exciting and a little bit overwhelming!”

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school.  It 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 Obluda, an alumna of Immaculate Conception Cathedral School (ICCS) in Lake Charles, 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.”

Obluda said she prepared to take the ACT a second time by attending an ACT math boot-camp to boost her math performance.

“I have to thank my wonderful teachers from ICCS to St. Louis Catholic that supported me and challenged me, and my parents, who always believed in me,” she said.  “I tried not to worry about the test too much, because I know that one score truly doesn’t define a person.”

ACT scores are accepted by all major four-year colleges and universities across the U.S.  Obluda said she plans on attending Colorado School of Mines to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering and possibly minor in space exploration after graduating from St. Louis Catholic in May.

“I’ve always been passionate about space and recently enrolled in a fascinating astronomy class at McNeese,” she said.  “My dream job is to work at NASA some day.”

St. Louis Catholic Administrator Mia Orgeron said Obluda’s dedication and knowledge were on full display this past summer at the COR Expedition in Wyoming.

“I had the wonderful experience of spending a week with Caroline in the wilderness, and it’s no surprise that she did so well on the ACT,” Orgeron said.  “She would give the group nightly lessons about the various constellations in the sky.  Caroline is a remarkable person who definitely has a future as bright as those stars in the sky!”

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Obluda is the second member of the St. Louis Catholic Class of 2020 to earn a perfect ACT score, joining senior Ethan Hebert, who received a 36 composite in April 2019.