Skip To Main Content

Patton High School Senior Scores Perfect 36 on ACT

Patton High School Senior Scores Perfect 36 on ACT

Morganton, NC – Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Daniel K., a rising senior at Patton High School, has achieved a remarkable feat by earning a perfect score on the ACT, a standardized test widely used for college admissions. This impressive score of 36 came on his very first attempt.

So, how did Daniel manage this extraordinary accomplishment? According to him, it was a mix of aiming high, trusting his classroom studies, and not overthinking the process. He said, "To be completely honest, I didn't do much. I find that preoccupying myself with studying causes me to overthink things, so I trust that my memory and studiousness in class will translate to the test. I was fairly confident going into the test, but I did not realize what my score was until all of the scores were released online."

Daniel took the test in February with a relaxed approach, a strategy that clearly paid off. His perfect score places him in the top 0.25% of ACT test-takers. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2022, only 3,376 out of 1.34 million students earned a top composite score of 36. The ACT tests students in English, mathematics, reading, and science, each scored on a scale of 1–36. A student's composite score is the average of these four test scores.  Daniel has also excelled in other standardized tests. While he didn’t achieve a perfect score on the SAT, he is among the top 7% of students who scored above 1400.

Son of Gary and Christi K., Daniel has a younger sister, Elayna, who will be joining him at Patton as a freshman this August. Daniel is a multifaceted individual, participating in the Western Piedmont Youth Symphony, National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), Anchor Club, band, Gaming Club, and Creative Writing Club. He is also very active in his church community.

Daniel attended Salem Elementary and Liberty Middle before joining Patton High School, where his favorite subject is English and writing. He credits much of his success to his teachers, listing Susan Broan, Kevin McCloy, and Nicholas Geary as his favorites at Patton. Mr. Geary had high praise for Daniel, saying, “I'm not surprised at all that Daniel achieved a perfect score on the ACT. Daniel is kind, humble, extremely creative, and happens to be one of the most hardworking, dedicated students I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Every accolade that comes Daniel's way is because he puts in the work without complaint, and I could not be more proud.”

Daniel also drew inspiration from a quote by Patton’s Project Lead the Way Teacher, Clay Nelson: "Aim for perfection, settle for excellence." He elaborated, “In everything I do, I try to achieve the top, so when I inevitably don't reach it, my outcome will still be high. In this case, I did reach it, which shows that the work ethic inspired by this maxim pays off.”

Offering advice to future ACT test-takers, Daniel said, “You don't get counted off for wrong answers, so put something down for everything.”
ACT CEO Janet Godwin also commended Daniel's accomplishment, saying, “Earning a top score on the ACT is a remarkable achievement. A student’s exceptional score of 36 will provide any college or university with ample evidence of their readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.”  This summer, Daniel plans to spend time with family, attend camps, and begin the college application process. He aims to attend a four-year university to study music performance and education.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Swan said, “Congratulations to Daniel on this amazing accomplishment. This perfect ACT score is not just a personal triumph but a testament to the dedication of Burke County Public School educators and the supportive community that has nurtured his talents.”