Marcos Rios, a Junior at Marietta High School, recently accomplished a pretty rare feat by earning a perfect score on the ACT; an accomplishment less than one percent of students nationwide achieve.
Marcos prepared for the ACT in a few ways. He took both the SAT and ACT early to get experience completing both tests, and once he had a feel for each test, he went over content he didn’t know well and made sure to get plenty of rest the night before the test. Additionally, Marcos participated in the prep class at the high school.
Marcos took the ACT previously and scored a 35, so he decided to take the test again to see if he could earn a perfect score.
“I set an alarm for 1:00 a.m. the day I knew the scores would come out, the Wednesday after President’s Day,” Marcos explained. “I woke up, logged in to see the scores, said a little prayer, then clicked on the score report. I fell out of bed, cheered a little, then took a screenshot that I immediately sent to the family group chat before going straight back to sleep. I woke up again at 4 a.m. when I heard my parents shouting upstairs with joy.”
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.
The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all of the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.
In addition to his academic success, Marcos is involved in several extracurricular activities and leadership roles, including serving as the president of the Technology Student Association and Society for Pre Engineering, Vice President of Model UN, National Honor Society service coordinator, and Flute Section Leader and Band Librarian in the marching band. Outside of school, Marcos serves as the Youth Preparedness Programs Committee Chair of FEMA’s National Youth Preparedness Council, and he’s a co-teacher for the special needs class at his church every Sunday.
Marcos’ mom, Margarita Ojeda, says that while she was so excited, she wasn’t surprised about the big news.
“A different score wouldn’t have changed what we think of him or his outcomes, but I am glad he gets to relax a little and cross off one of the things on his bucket list,” she explained.
“Marcos works really hard and likes to set goals for himself,” his mom continued. “I am glad he has enjoyed seeing them come to fruition. However, it is his servant heart and helpful and kind disposition that makes me most proud. No matter what he is working on, if somebody asks for help, he stops what he is doing and helps. That is not determined by a score or a grade.”
In fact, Marcos has great advice for other students who aspire to score high on the ACT.
“To any other student trying to score high, the best thing I can recommend is being prepared for the test, outside of the test,” Marcos explained. “Read a lot and keep your math skills sharp…I also recommend taking the test early on, so you know what you do well on and you know what you can improve on.”
Marcos is the third Marietta High School student to receive a perfect score on the ACT in the past year.