What 36 Students Say About How They Scored Perfect 36 on the ACT

When students hear about another student who has made a 36 on the ACT, the first question is always this: “How did they do that?” It’s a great question, but one that doesn’t have an easy answer. Getting a 36 (or perfect score) on the ACT is no small feat. Of the 1.9 million students who will take the test every year, only about 1,500 make a 36 on the test.

We are not trying to discourage you if your goal is to ace the ACT; instead, we wanted to encourage you with some quotes from students from around the country who have earned perfect scores on test and what they said helped them to achieve it. As a matter of fact, we have analyzed what 36 perfect scorers said about their path to 36!

It’s important to remember that there are many ways to master the ACT. Different tips and techniques work for different students. It’s just the way things work. However, we know that one of the things that helps all students is encouragement from fellow students who have gone before them, especially if those students scored a 36.

What did students say helped them score a 36 on the ACT? Well, to be honest, the answers were all over the map, from parents and teachers, to just relaxing and not stressing out, those that answered said that scoring a 36 on the ACT really depends on the individual.

However, by far the one thing that students said helped them to achieve a 36 on the ACT was practice. Here are a few quotes from the students themselves:

“My advice for other test-takers, as clichéd as it might sound, is to practice.”  Meredith Jones

“I would say get a lot of practice…practice books and test questions. They’re really helpful.” George Doug

“More than any other weird tip or weird strategy, the most important thing is to just keep practicing.” Rajadhar Reddy

“I did practice tests, I studied, I prepared. And on the day of the test I just kind of came in and was like, I’ll try my best and I’ll see what happens.” Meagan Olsen

Many students also attributed their success on the ACT to their education and their school experience:

“Your experiences in class—and school — are important for the ACT.”  Jonathan Li

“We work hard in school, we’ve taken honors and AP classes every chance we get.” Ian McLeod

“While test prep and review can be helpful … it’s not as powerful as taking your time your first two years in high school and concentrating and learning the material your tests are testing you on.” Tristan Trechsel

Several other students shared that ACT prep courses helped them, along with those who said the right mindset made all the difference in the world to them.

“Everything comes with the mental belief that you are going to do well.” Tolson Frantzen

“People can do whatever they want to do if they’re willing to put in the work to do it.” Dwight Moore

“I studied from all the ACT prep books I could get my hands on, did a lot of practice tests, and went in and did well on the test.” Ariel Hippen

“I started going to my test prep tutor much more frequently and did lots and lots of practice tests, which I think were key in familiarizing myself with the test itself.”  Clay Phillips

As you can see, there are many different actions students who scored a 36 on the ACT attribute their success too. In preparing to take the ACT you should remember that each student is different and what will help you to successfully take the ACT may be a little different than the person next to you, but if you work hard and apply yourself to reaching your goal, you too can score high on the ACT.

According to the responses from students, we were able to break down what helped students the most when it comes to making a 36 on the ACT.

36s
  1. Practice Test Taking: 41.6 %
  2. ACT Prep Course/Books: 33.3%
  3. Education/Teachers: 30.5%
  4. Positive Thinking: 22%
  5. Paying Attention to Questions/Guessing: 14%
  6. Parents: 5%

These breakdowns can help you focus on the right things when it comes to studying the ACT. If you have been wondering where you need to focus your attention, the above can clear that up for you and get you on the path to a 36 on the ACT.