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Farmington High School incoming senior Kathryn Almquist earned a perfect composite score of 36 on her ACT exam.

FHS student finds ACT perfection

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Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Kathryn Almquist did pretty well when she took the ACT last year as a junior. But the incoming senior thought maybe she could do a little better, so she took the test again.


After school was out. In mid-June. During summer vacation.

Apparently the time off did her some good, though, because Almquist’s second run at the ACT — the test that indicates college readiness in the areas of English, math, reading, science and writing — earned her a perfect composite score of 36.

Not that her first score was too low. Almquist earned a score of 33 in her first run at the test, but still decided to try it again.

“I had already taken it once. The second time I was taking it to see if I could do any better. I wasn’t really nervous because I already had a score I was happy with,” she said. “One of my counselors said I should. They said it would be good to try it one more time.”

Having already taken the ACT once was helpful, she said. The questions were not the same from test to test, but she was ready for the way the test was presented and how things worked on test day.

Whatever it was, it worked. The results were released online about two weeks after she took the test. That’s where she found her name listed, with a score of 36 attached.

“I freaked out,” Almquist said. “I felt like I did better, but I definitely didn’t think that I had gotten a 36. I wasn’t expecting it, for sure, but I was really excited.”

According to ACT’s website, fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of the students who take the ACT earn a score of 36. Scores are used by colleges for admission and course placement. All major universities in the United States use the ACT assessments.

With that in mind, Almquist has started to apply for colleges. Earlier this week, she sent out two college applications. Tentatively, Almquist is thinking of pursing a degree in biomedical engineering.

Almquist is the daughter of Julianne and Kurt Almquist of Farmington.