Third time’s a charm proved true for Anoka High School senior Tanner McArdle as he received a perfect score of 36 on the ACT when he took it in June.
“I wasn’t expecting a 36, I was expecting less than that,” he said.
McArdle had taken the test twice before, receiving a score of 31 the first time and 34 the second.
Aside from these two attempts and a practice test at Sylvan Learning Center, McArdle said he didn’t study very much for the ACT. Since it was the third time around, McArdle said he felt pretty relaxed while he took the test.
“It seemed like there were a couple more questions than the last time that I didn’t know the answer to, but I guess not,” he said.
While a score of 36 is the highest one can attain on the ACT, it does not mean that the recipient got every question right. Each section of the test is scored from one to 36 and the composite score is the average of these four scores.
McArdle answered every question in the English, math and science questions correctly and likely missed only one question in the reading section.
While at Anoka, he maintains a weighted grade-point average of 4.16 and regularly gets As in his classes. He has also received an Advanced Placement (AP) score of 5, the highest possible, in the AP tests for Calculus AB and BC, European History and Statistics.
Outside of academics, McArdle is involved in cross-country, concert band, jazz band and is a National Honor Society officer. He has also been involved with National Karate Studio for around 10 years.
McArdle will graduate from Anoka High School next spring and plans to major in biomedical engineering and then continue on to medical school after that. With this high score, he now plans on applying to several more elite schools.
“If I got into John Hopkins I’d be pretty happy,” McArdle said.
He also plans on applying to Stanford, Harvard and the University of Minnesota.
For those trying to get a better ACT score, McArdle recommends taking the test again until they achieve their desired score.
“I believe you can take the test up to 20 times, and there’s no reason not to until you’re completely satisfied,” he said. “If not for my career counselor encouraging me to take it a third time I would still be with a 34.”
Bethany Kemming is at [email protected]