Three seniors ace certain parts of SAT, ACT


Rosa Lemus

Seniors Rudraj Koppikar, Michael Chidbachian and Zachary Gephart- Canada all recieved perfect scores on certain portions of the SAT or ACT.

Farah Faiza

For high school students, standardized testing such as the ACT and the SAT are a major focus as it’s a key factor in college admissions. Despite hours of studying, students rarely achieve the perfect score they dream of.

However, three members of the Class of 2019 did.

“It’s increased my hopes of getting into my reach colleges, although I understand that the SAT is just one part of the whole application and not everything,” said Rudraj Koppikar, managing editor of The Pearl Post.

Koppikar scored a perfect 800 on the English portion of the SAT, while Yearbook Editor-in-Chief Zachary Gephart-Canada reached the max score for English on the ACT with a 36. Online Editor-in-Chief Michael Chidbachian, on the other hand, earned a perfect 800 on the math section of the SAT. Each cultivated their own techniques to help them reach these higher scores.

Koppikar learned that studying doesn’t quite help on tests, so he created a set of test-taking strategies compatible with his own needs. Throughout the English portion, he finishes a passage and answers the questions right away by marking them in his booklet. He doesn’t pause to fill in the bubbles and instead saves that for later, knowing that it would disrupt his process of thinking. He’s found that when it comes to practice examples, he does worse on them than when actually taking the test.

On his first time taking the ACT, Gephart-Canada scored perfect on English, followed closely behind by his reading score. His main strategy is to trust his instincts while reading through the test, knowing that if he overthinks a problem there’s a higher chance he’ll have of getting it wrong. He sounds out a problem in his head to see what seems right and chooses the best option, rather than wasting time second-guessing himself. To him, there’s no real pattern to it.

“I would never second guess your answer, because if you think the last four of them have been ‘no change’ but they all sound right, then they’re right,” Gephart-Canada said.

Unlike Koppikar, Chidbachian makes use of the practice provided by College Board through Khan Academy, which helped him boost his score by several points. Practice tests have helped him become familiar with the layout of the actual test.

Less than 1% of test takers get 800 on math, while .195% score a perfect 36 in the ACT, according to Prep Scholar NewsSAT, an online SAT prep course.

Koppikar and Chidbachian were recognized by Los Angeles Unified School District on Twitter for acing certain portions of the SAT test.

“No matter what score I got, I knew I’d still want to major in mathematics,” Chidbachian said. “The only possible impact that it will have is what college admissions officers will think of it.”