Verdigris seniors Aaron Reid and Collin Karst joined the less than one percent of all students to score a 35 on the ACT.

The ACT is a standardized test used for college admissions in the U.S. Students are tested in English, math, reading and science, each of which is given a scaled score between one and 36.

The score on each of those subjects is then averaged into a composite score. The average composite score for students who took the test in 2018 was 20.8.

Both young men took the test six times to achieve their near perfect scores.

Reid is class valedictorian and a member of the student council, band and national honor society.

Reid said that while math is his forte, he couldn’t have done as well on the test without the grammar and English teachers he had at Verdigris Public Schools.

“At a young age they drilled grammar rules into us, and that was super helpful on the ACT,” Reid said. “I also had good math teachers so I felt like I was prepared.”

Karst is a member of the band, student council and the national honor society. He is also a founding member and leader of the VHS Young Democrats club.

“Verdigris has a lot of advanced classes,” Karst said, which has helped him prepare for the ACT and for college.

Next fall, Reid plans to study industrial and systems engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Karst plans to double major in political science and economics at the University of Tulsa.

Both young men had advice for students who are preparing to retake the test or take it for the first time.

“No matter what you get on it, it can’t hurt you more than not taking the test,” Karst said.

“From test to test it is very different,” Reid said.

For students who took the test but did not do as well as they hoped, Reid said, “Keep your head up and try again. Eventually you can work your way up.”

He suggested double checking your answers and staying focused because each individual question matters.

“If you have the state of mind that you are going to do better on this test, most likely you will,” Reid said.