Mio Aoki-Sherwood, a senior at Armstrong High School (AHS), has achieved a feat very few students nationwide accomplish: a perfect score on the ACT test.
The maximum score a student can earn on the ACT, which is a standardized test used for college admissions, is 36. And according to the ACT organization, of the 1.9 million students who take the test every year, only about 3,700, or .0019 percent, get the highest possible score.
“I was definitely happy when I learned about my score, and a little surprised because it was my first time taking the test so I really did not know what to expect,” Aoki-Sherwood said.
The perfect ACT score isn’t the only academic accolade Aoki-Sherwood has earned recently. Earlier this month she was also named a National Merit Finalist. It’s an impressive combination of success for the soon-to-be high school graduate.
“I am very grateful that I have been lucky enough to have access to a supportive educational environment which has allowed me to succeed at the ACT and other academic measures,” she said.
AHS Principal Erick Norby said Aoki-Sherwood is a driven and amazing student, and an inspiration to other scholars at the school. “We’re just so proud of her,” Norby said. “She’s so talented and deserves the success and accolades she’s earned.”
While grateful, she said she’s taking all the recognition in stride. “I’m proud, and my family is also proud of this accomplishment, but both my family and I don't like to put too much emphasis on standardized testing scores as these scores do not define or measure an individual's worth,” she said.
Aoki-Sherwood will attend Cornell College in Iowa in the fall, and Environmental Science or a similar field are her most likely area of study, though she said she’s keeping her options open. She also hopes to continue participation in extracurricular activities like orchestra and cross country.
All-in-all, earning a perfect ACT score, and being a National Merit finalist -- Aoki-Sherwood said it hasn’t changed all that much for her. Ultimately, she’s just thankful.
“One way that my score has definitely benefited me is that a lot of the institutions I applied to have offered me significant merit scholarships, including Cornell College, and I am thankful to have these opportunities that make college education more affordable for me.”