Saturday, October 21, 2000

He's perfect on ACT and SAT

Feat a first for Lakota

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        LIBERTY TOWNSHIP - Patrick Thomas is more than just one in a million — he's one in two million.

        The Lakota East High School senior, who admits he doesn't study, had perfect scores on both the ACT and SAT college entrance exams he took in June.

Patrick Thomas
Patrick Thomas
Mike McDufford
Mike McDufford
        Scoring 36 is a phenomenon that doesn't happen often, ACT spokesman Kelley Hayden said Friday. Fewer than 100 students out of more than 1.8 million who took the test scored a perfect 36 during the 1999-2000 school year.

        “It typically averages one student for every 15,000 to 20,000 who take the test,” Mr. Hayden said.

        Figuring how often a student scores a perfect 1,600 on the SAT and 36 on the ACT is harder because the two firms don't share data, Mr. Hayden said. But he said he's heard of it happening four or five times a year. Lakota counselors said it's never happened there in 34 years.

        “To me, he could be the poster child for the gifted child,” said Lakota East counselor Helene Kriner. "He's something else.”

        Patrick has classmate Mike McDufford and Mike's dad, Dave, to thank for the ACT score.

        When the test results came back, Patrick scored a 35 and Mike a 34. The two friends were talking about a question on the science reasoning section they both missed and thought should have been correct.

        Mike's dad overheard their conversation and wrote to the test firm contesting the answer. After reviewing the question and answers, the firm agreed with the boys and gave them both — and anyone else who answered the same way — credit for the question.

        One point was added to their final scores, giving Patrick a 36 and Mike a 35.

        “Pat and I over-thought and found the technicality,” Mike said. “We were not that concerned about it. We thought it was kind of funny ... Dad likes to argue.”

        When the second envelope correcting the scores came from the testing company, last week, it sat on Patrick's living room couch for two or three days until his mom noticed the return address and opened the letter.

        “I was very happy,” Patrick said. “I brought the letter to school, told my friends, my teachers and the guidance office. I said thank you to Mike.”

        His excitement was high because he'd already scored 1600 on the SAT before he received the revised ACT scores, Patrick said.

        Patrick ranks about 25th in his class of 420 and has slightly better than a 4.0 average on a 4.0 grading scale. The extra pointswere awarded for excelling in advanced classes.


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