Relief. That’s the first word that came to Science Hill senior Rachel Leerssen’s mind when she found out about her perfect ACT score. While less than a half-a-percent of ACT test-takers make a perfect score, Leerssen was confident in her ability.
“I thought I could do it,” Leerssen said through a widening smile. “It was more of a relief than anything else. I already had mostly 36s, so I just needed to get my math up by a few points.”
After taking the test during her freshman year and scoring a 35, Leerssen continued to pack her schedule full of Advanced Placement classes and challenge herself with higher-level math to help prepare her for another shot at the ACT.
Leerssen said that she enjoyed the different classes and opportunities available at Science Hill, and she enjoyed taking classes that she will be able to use in her planned career in engineering.
“I like how many classes are available at Science Hill,” she said. “I have been able to take a lot of classes that are not at other schools. Not just the Advanced Placement classes but also the architecture and engineering in CTE (Career and Technical Education) have been really useful. I’ve learned how to use different design programs that I can definitely use in my career.”
This year, Leerssen will spend her time applying to colleges and challenging herself academically. While she has stepped away from soccer after three years to narrow her focus, she has rejoined the Scholar’s Bowl team and hopes to be a big contributor. She said the Scholars Bowl was a fun and interesting experience and she enjoys being around students who are eager to challenge themselves.
She also likes to crochet, read books and spend her time doing a little bit of extra homework as she wants to learn things properly.
“I like having a high GPA, and I like taking hard classes,” she said. “Because they are usually more interesting.”
Leerssen has developed an interest in engineering because she said that she is good at math and enjoys the idea of creating things. More specifically, Leerssen said she was looking at ceramic engineering with the possibility of creating new synthetic materials, other than metal, that can serve different purposes. She also has plans of getting her Ph. D.
“I haven’t done enough research to understand, but I think it sounds cool,” Leerssen said.
While she has her future planned out, Leerssen also had a bit of advice for future ACT test-takers who want to score well on their test. Take the practice tests at every opportunity.
Also, she said to enjoy the time you have at Science Hill with your friends, because Leerssen learned how precious that time can be.
“It’s nice to be back after COVID. I was not a fan of hybrid learning,” Leerssen said. “It’s fun to be in an actual class with my teachers and my friends.”