Two Arrowhead Students Got A Perfect Score On Last Year’s ACT

Addrian Mendoza, Reporter

Two of Arrowhead’s students earned a perfect ACT score of 36 when they took the test in March 2020: seniors David Zhou and Samuel Polentini.


According to, only .4% of students receive a perfect score. According to, the average ACT score for the year 2020 was 20.6. According to the Arrowhead Union High School website, Arrowhead had an average score of 23 in 2019.

Polentini wants to study actuarial science or data analytics in college. His preferred colleges are UW-Madison, Purdue, or MIT. 


Zhou plans on attending college to a major in neuroscience. He hopes to earn a degree from medical school and become a practicing physician.


The ACT tests knowledge of English, Writing, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. It is given yearly in March and April. There are opportunities to take it in September as well.  Roughly 40-60 minutes are given for each section. Most colleges require the ACT, but it may be taken up to three times before applying. 


Zhou took the test twice.


Polentini says he studied English and reading. However, he said he did not have to practice for the other two. 


Zhou says he did not study for the exam but recommends that students go to the online Khan Academy and use SAT PREP software and ACT practice exams.


Polentini also offered advice for those who didn’t perform as well as they would have liked: “Working with a partner is great when studying for the ACT,” Polentini says. He said he strongly believes a student can see someone else’s perspective on what you can work on; therefore, you can adjust.


Zhou says, “don’t sweat it” if you don’t like your result. He says there are more opportunities. Zhou says that schools are “…waiving the requirement of submitting a standardized test score.” Schools like Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California are not requiring the ACT for the years 2021-2022.


Poletini’s main motivation this year was to do better than the first time he had taken it. David Zhou is not sure what motivated him.


Polentini was not nervous about the exam because he knew that he would have more opportunities to do better in the future. Zhou felt the same way, he just wanted to get a “decent score”.


 Polentini says, “…at the end of the day, your ACT score is just a number.”


Zhou x, “If you feel like your score doesn’t represent who you are as a student and as an applicant, omit it and let the other parts of your application represent you instead.”