NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Smiling from ear to ear, two New Rochelle High School students had plenty of reason to celebrate after learning they had both earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT test, a high school achievement, and college admissions test.
Nicholas Townley and Steven Solar are in elite company. According to ACT, fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of all test-takers receive a perfect score. Out of 2.1 million testers in the graduating class of 2016, only 2,235 achieved the highest score.
Townley, 17, a senior, said he was excited to learn that he aced the test. Always a top student, he is senior class president and captain of the varsity swim team. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, the PAVE Vocal Music Program, the IGNITE (peer mentoring) Executive Board, TheatreWorks and Model Congress.
"It was super rewarding to know that all the hard work paid off," said Townley. "It was a moment of extreme joy."
Townley doesn't know yet where he'll go to college, but he's mulling business and political science as possible majors. A career in politics is a possibility, he said, as is a life in business.
Solar, 16, is a junior, and said he took the ACT test early because "I just wanted to get it out of the way."
He was sitting in a college informational session when his parents informed him of the ACT test results.
"I had been doing well on practice tests, but never this well," said Solar. "I was very happy."
Solar describes his interests as "sciencey" and says he enjoys studying physics and biology. He is captain of the Alternative Frisbee Club and a member of the board of the Junior State of America and of IGNITE. He is also on the varsity tennis team.
He would like to pursue a career in bioengineering and research.