FARMINGTON — A Farmington High School senior is one of two students in the state who earned a perfect score on the ACT this school year.
Hance Clark scored the perfect 36 on the college readiness exam. ACT spokesman Ed Colby said the other student who earned a perfect score attends La Cueva High School in Albuquerque.
"A student who earns a 36 composite score has likely mastered all of the academic skills and knowledge he or she will need to succeed in first-year, credit-bearing college coursework and then some," Colby said in an email.
The ACT is a standardized test that measures skills taught in high school. It covers subjects like English, reading, mathematics and science and is used for college admission.
For the high school graduating class of 2013, only 1,162 of the 1.8 million students who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36. That means that less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the students who took the ACT earned a perfect score.
Clark said he achieved his perfect score on his second attempt at the ACT. He scored a 34 the first time around.
"I just wanted to see if I could do any better on the test," Clark said.
Clark has already been accepted to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro and is awaiting a reply from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
Before taking the first test, Clark said he did not study. But, he said, he reviewed course work and notes in geometry before his second attempt.
Kim Coufal, Financial Aid College Entrance counselor at Farmington High, said the average ACT score at Farmington High has increased from 19.8 to 20.49 since the FACE program started. The program places counselors at Farmington and Piedra Vista high schools to help students apply to college.
The 20.49 average test score is above the New Mexico average of 18 but below the national average of 22, Coufal said.
"Hance has been in my office several times and is one of those ultra motivated students," Coufal said. "Even the academically smart and motivated students are coming to us for help to increase their scores."